The Afghanistan board decries the CA decision as “pathetic” and threatens to write the ICC about it
In response to Cricket Australia’s decision to pull its men’s team from a bilateral ODI series against Afghanistan in March due to the Taliban’s position banning girls from attending university in the country.
In response to Cricket Australia’s decision to pull its men’s team from a bilateral ODI series against Afghanistan in March due to the Taliban’s position banning girls from attending university in the country, Rashid Khan, who plays for the Adelaide Strikers and is a member of the BBL, has threatened to quit the league.
“I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March,”Rashid said.
“I take great pride in representing my country, and we have made great progress on the world stage.
This decision from CA sets us back on that journey. If playing vs Afghanistan is so uncomfortable for Australia, then I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my presence in the BBL. Therefore, I will be strongly considering my future in that competition.”
Rashid appeared in eight games for Strikers this season before departing to play for MI Cape Town in the SA20. Due to conflicting commitments, he was not expected to return to the BBL this season.
Following the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s description of CA’s statement as “pathetic,” Rashid added his voice to the chorus of cricket players in Afghanistan who were protesting the move.
The Australian board, according to the ACB, is “prioritizing political interests over the principles of fair play and sportsmanship,” “undermining the integrity of the game,” and “damaging the relationship between two countries.” A complaint about the situation has been made to the ICC.
Following consultation with the Australian government, CA earlier on Thursday declared its choice to have the Australian men’s team withdrawn from a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates.
The Taliban, who currently control Afghanistan, recently announced that it would forbid girls from attending university. ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had previously characterized this development as alarming. This was cited as the reason for the ban on girls attending university.
In its response, the ACB stated that if CA did not reverse its decision, it would now “rethink the participation of Afghan players in the Big Bash League.” The future of women’s cricket in Afghanistan, however, was not mentioned in the ACB’s statement in any particular way.
“Cricket Australia’s decision to withdraw from upcoming matches against Afghanistan is coming after consultation and potential enforcement from the Australian Government, which is an unfortunate attempt to enter the realm of politics and politicize the sport,”the ACB statement said.
“The decision to withdraw from playing the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan is unfair and unexpected, and will have a negative impact on the development and growth of cricket in Afghanistan as well as will affect the love and passion of the Afghan nation for the game.
“Cricket has played a significant role in promoting unity and national pride in Afghanistan. After years of war and conflict, cricket has helped to bring people together and provide a sense of normalcy to the country. It has also been an important source of hope and inspiration for all Afghans, particularly young people. In addition, Cricket has also been an important tool for promoting education and social development in the country.
“The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has been working to promote cricket in schools and universities, and it has also been using the sport to promote healthy lifestyles and discourage young people from getting involved in drugs and crime.
Cricket has been an important tool for promoting peace, unity, and development in Afghanistan, and it will continue to be a source of inspiration and hope for the people of the country in the years to come.”
After the one-off Test that was supposed to take place in Hobart in November 2021 was postponed, CA has now canceled a bilateral match with Afghanistan as a result of the Taliban government’s views on women for the second time in two years.
During the most recent T20 World Cup, Australia did play Afghanistan in Adelaide. They are expected to cross paths with Afghanistan twice more in the upcoming Future Tours cycle, with Afghanistan visiting Australia in August 2026 to play one Test and three T20 Internationals, and three T20 Internationals scheduled at a neutral venue in August 2024.