Australia cancels T20 series with Afghanistan over women’s rights

Logos courtesy- Cricket Australia & Afghanistan Cricket Board.

MELBOURNE, March 19 2024: Cricket Australia (CA) has cancelled the men’s T20 series against Afghanistan expressing concern over human rights for women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. The three-match series was due to be played in the UAE.

Earlier, Australia had cancelled the ODI series against Afghanistan scheduled for March 2023 due to “marked deterioration in human rights for women and girls in Afghanistan.”

A Cricket Australia media release says, the step was taken after consultation with the Australian government and it would “Continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country”.

The statement further says: “Over the past twelve months CA has continued to consult with the Australian Government on the situation in Afghanistan. The government’s advice is that conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan are getting worse. For this reason, we have maintained our previous position and will postpone the bilateral series against Afghanistan.

CA continues its strong commitment to supporting participation by women and girls in cricket around the world and will continue to actively engage the International Cricket Council and work closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to determine what actions could be taken to support the resumption of bilateral matches in the future. ”

ANI adds: Afghanistan are the only ICC-full member nation without a women’s cricket team. The last time, Australia faced Afghanistan was in a World Cup 2023 group stage clash. In a nail-biting thriller, Glenn Maxwell battled heat and cramps to smash Australia’s first-ever ODI double century. He single-handedly took Australia across the finishing line and ensured that the Baggy Greens qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament.

Meanwhile, the AL Jazeera says the Taliban have termed the decision hypocritical as the Australian cricket team played Afghanistan during last year’s 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup in India and Afghan players have been part of the Big Bash League, an Australian franchise-based T20 tournament.

By SAT Sports Desk

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