Recently, Cricket Australia has backed off from participating in the ODI series against Afghanistan in 2023. Star players of the country like Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman who have been consistent participants of BBL have threatened Cricket Australia to pull out of the league.
Cricket Australia took this decision due to the Taliban imposing restrictions on the education and employment of women. In September 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and even restricted women from participating in sports. They have even restricted children and girls from attending college. This is the only Asian country that does not have a women’s team.
Naveen-ul-Haq and Rashid Khan expressed their anger against Australia in a tweet for canceling the ODIs.
“CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan, and will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country. We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter” the CA statement read
On the other hand, the Afghanistan Cricket Board attacked Cricket Australia for its decision to cancel the ODI series that was supposed to be held in UAE in March. The CA announced that they won’t be sending the players to play the 3-match ODI series in March. The ACB already made the arrangements in UAE for the ODI series and CA pulling out seems to be very rude and unfair. This decision from the CA has left the Afghan cricket community in shock and they’re concerned about the future of the game as well.
This is the second time, the CA canceled a bilateral fixture with Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s government policies on women and children. The Australian team is ready to meet Afghanistan in the next Future Tours cycle with three T20Is in August 2024. Again, in 2026, the two teams will be playing in one Test and three T20Is in Afghanistan.