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Australia pull out of three-match ODI series against Afghanistan

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Australia pulls out of three-match ODI series against Afghanistan. Photo/ Planet Sport.
  • Cricket Australia has decided to pull out of a three-match ODI series, which was to take place in March. 
  • Australia withdrew from the series because of the Taliban’s restrictions on women and young girls. 

Cricket Australia has decided to pull out of a three-match ODI series, which was to take place against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates in March. 

Australia have withdrawn from the series, which is part of the ICC Super League, because of the Taliban’s restrictions on women and young girls.

Australia

Australia have withdrawn from a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan which was to take place in March. Photo/ Planet Sport.

Cricket Australia said the tournament would not go on after “consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian government”. 

The Taliban, who returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, recently banned teenage girls from school. They also banned girls from studying certain subjects in school. 

On December 20, the Taliban received global backlash after banning women from going to universities in Afghanistan.

A few days later, they banned women from working for local and international NGOs. 

“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government, Cricket Australia has decided that it is unable to proceed at this time with the upcoming ICC Super League three-match Men’s ODI series between Australia and Afghanistan scheduled for the UAE in March 2023.” Cricket Australia said in a statement on Thursday. 

“This decision follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms.” 

Cricket Australia added to their statement by saying that they support growing the game for both men and women worldwide. 

CA will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of better conditions for women in Afghanistan. 

Cricket Australia withdrawing from the series means that Afghanistan will be awarded 30 ICC Super League points.

The decision to withdraw from the three-match ODI series did not go well with several Afghanistan cricket players. 

Bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, who is currently with the Sydney Sixers, threatened to boycott the Big Bash League due to Cricket Australia’s announcement. 

According to Naveen-ul-Haq, “these childish decisions” should be stopped because they are taking away Afghanistan’s only reason for happiness.

 Naveen-ul-Haq

Naveen-ul-Haq. Photo/ Times of India.

All-rounder Sharafuddin Ashraf also expressed his disappointment with the decision saying that cricket is not a playground for politics.

“What a pathetic decision by (Cricket Australia). They should know that cricket is not a playground for politics. Please don’t mix politics with cricket. Cricket is symbol of happiness that brings people and nations together.” Sharafuddin Ashraf posted on Twitter. 

Australia had a match scheduled with Afghanistan in November 2021, but the fixture didn’t take place because of the Taliban’s invasion. 

As of now, Afghanistan is the only ICC full-member nation without a women’s team. Deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, previously said it was unnecessary for women to play sports. 

A good number of female athletes in Afghanistan have gone into hiding since the Taliban took over in 2021. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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