KABUL: 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 denying university education for girls in the country, Afghan cricket star Rashid Khan who features for Adelaide Strikers in Australia’s T20 League Big Bash has threatened to pull out of the competition.
“I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March. 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 in 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 featured for Strikers in eight games this season before departing to represent MI Cape Town in the SA20. Due to conflicting commitments, he wasn’t expected to further take part in the BBL.
CA announced on Thursday that it would withdraw from the three-match series after consulting with a number of stakeholders, including the Australian government.
CA’s decision comes after the Taliban imposed new restrictions on the education and employment of women and girls. It explained that the decision was made in response to the Taliban’s recent announcement regarding additional restrictions on women and girls’ education and employment.
The Taliban took control of the Asian country in September 2021 and immediately imposed restrictions on female sports participation, which CA condemned as per ESPNcricinfo.
Afghanistan is the only ICC full-member nation that does not have a women’s team, and will be the only full member without a team at the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, which begins on Saturday.
“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.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice has said recent developments in Afghanistan were “concerning”, and confirmed the issue would be raised at its next meeting.
“Our board has been monitoring progress since the change of regime,” Allardice said.
“It is a concern that progress is not being made in Afghanistan and it’s something our board will consider at its next meeting in March. As far as we are aware, there isn’t activity at the moment,” he further added.
Australia will be playing three ODIs (from March 17-22) in India following the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy. (ANI)