Australia ditches Afghanistan Cricket Team once again in the name of exploitation of human rights in the country

Updated - 19 Mar 2024, 03:07 PM

Australia vs Afghanistan
Australia vs Afghanistan. Image Credits: Twitter

In a recent development, Cricket Australia (CA) has postponed an upcoming bilateral T20I series against Afghanistan, owing to the exploitation of human rights in the country, especially against Women. This is happening for the 2nd time since March 2023 when the Aussies declined to host them for an ODI series due to the very same reason.

Australia have gone head-to-head against Afghanistan in one ICC event only once in their history and that too came way back in 2012 when the Afghans started making waves in the cricketing scene. Since then, the two countries have only met during International events like – the 50-over World Cup and the T20 World Cup. In that one-off ODI match which was played in Sharjah on 25 August 2012, the baggy greens claimed victory by 66 runs under Michael Clarke’s captaincy.

What did Cricket Australia say?

Australia were to play a 3-match T20I series against Afghanistan later this year in August which would have seen the latter country host the ODI and Test world champions. The matches were slated to take place in UAE and it was a part of the ICC’s future tours program (FTP) but earlier today on CA’s official website, it was revealed that the national team will not visit UAE and keep their stance intact against the Afghani team.

Cricket Australia have condemned the rights of Women and girls in the country who have been restricted from participating in any sporting activities, ever since the Taliban regime began in 2021. Since then, the country has been going through plenty of turmoil internally and it has tarnished its image in the outside world too.

This is not the 2nd time CA has taken a step of this sort, this is the 3rd time since 2021 when Afghanistan were to play a Test match in Hobart in November of that year. Then last year in March, Australia refused to travel to UAE for the 3-match ODI series and now the T20I series, too, has been called off.

The Australian board reportedly has been consulting with the national government on the situation of Women in Afghanistan. And this move has been materialized only after the Anthony Albanese-led Aussie government. Moreover, the CA had kept the door open for a bilateral series’ against them only after the improvement of the situation but it has instead worsened.

The most recent match between Australia and Afghanistan came during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India on November 7th at Wankhede. The Afghans had asked the Aussies to chase down 292 for the win to which the eventual 6-time World Cup winners had lost 7 wickets at 91 runs. From there on, Glenn Maxwell single-handedly helped his team pull off a memorable victory by scoring 201* alone with Pat Cummins supporting him with his 12 off 68 runs.

Cricket Australia confirm the development with a press release

“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.” – Cricket Australia wrote on their official website.

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Afghanistan National Cricket Team Australia National Cricket Team ICC Cricket World Cup 2023