The founder of the national women’s team, Afghan Diana Barakzai, poses for a picture at the Kabul Cricket Stadium December 24, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL
(Reuters) – The story of Afghan cricket is a rare bright spot in the troubled country’s recent past, full of unlikely successes and glory that have helped unify a divided nation. Unless you’re a woman player.
A national women’s cricket team formed in 2010 with some fanfare was quietly dissolved this year amid Taliban threats, insecurity and conservative beliefs that led to a shortage of players.
“It does not exist,” said the newly appointed chairman of Afghanistan’s cricket board, Nasimullah Danish, when asked about the team. “The situation is not very much prepared for developing women’s cricket in Afghanistan.”
Activists say the fate of the squad is indicative of a wider lack of institutional support for women in sport in a country where many men are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of their sisters and daughters competing in public…