Taliban militants have banned all sports, including cricket, in southern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, residents complained. But the insurgent movement, which barred girls from going to school during its rule, said it had banned cricket in rural areas following complaints.
Sahib Khan, a resident of the volatile Andar district, said that the rebels had slapped restrictions on all types of games. “Some days ago, the Taliban came and took away all our sports gear while we were playing cricket. They warned us no one can play the game here in future,” he alleged.
Now youngsters cannot play cricket, football, volleyball or other sports in areas under Taliban control, according to Khan, who voiced concern at the curbs. Abdur Rahman, a resident of the Sulaimanzi area of Deh Yak district, said volleyball was a popular sport in their village but the Taliban recently prohibited them from playing it.
But Afghanistan Cricket Board head for Ghazni Ezatullah Mominyar said they had teams in Andar, Gilan, Qarabagh, Deh Yak, Zana Khan, Maqur, Aab Band districts, as well as other areas of the province. “The Taliban may have banned the game in some areas under their control, but no one has so far complained to us,” he said, adding the board planned to build a stadium in Ghazni in near future.