Play in World Cup but not in bilateral series: Rashid Khan exposes CA's hypocrisy after hammering Australia

Published - 23 Jun 2024, 05:52 PM | Updated - 23 Jun 2024, 05:53 PM

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Image Credits: Twitter)

Afghanistan T20I skipper Rashid Khan expressed disappointment over Cricket Australia's (CA) decision not to play a bilateral series against them due to political reasons. Rashid Khan stated that they are happy to play against Australia, adding that's the only way their cricket can improve and unite nations.

The Afghanistan team secured a 21-run victory against Australia at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent on Saturday, June 22 (local time). This marked Afghanistan's first victory over Australia in any cricket format. Afghanistan players and fans celebrated their team's historic win in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

The Afghanistan team is currently in third place in Group 1 in the ongoing ICC tournament. The Rashid Khan-led team has two points from two matches with a net run rate (NRR) of -0.650. They began their Super Eight campaign with a defeat against the Rohit Sharma-led team in the T20 World Cup 2024.

Australia, India, and Afghanistan are competing for the semi-final spots from Group 1. Bangladesh is practically out of the equation but has mathematical chances. Afghanistan will lock horns with the Bangladesh team in their last match at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown on Tuesday, June 25 (local time).

That's The Only Thing I Can Say - Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan expressed frustration with Cricket Australia's decision not to play a bilateral series against them. Khan acknowledged political issues but hoped for a series between the two teams. Khan highlighted Afghanistan's willingness to compete against all teams in the world.

“Sport brings the nation together. We are happy to play against any side, and that’s the only way our cricket can improve. Some things are not under the control of anyone in cricket, and that’s something we can’t do anything about,” Khan told reporters.

“I wish we could do something … but I don’t know the solution. These political things, I don’t know much about, and I don’t like it as well, so I have no answer for this," he added.

“Those things that are not under our control, and I don’t think we can bring sports into that … I don’t think cricket is the solution of politics. If we play in a World Cup, why don’t we play in a bilateral series? We are happy to play against the best sides, we learn from them, we get better day by day, but that’s the only thing I can say.”

Cricket Australia has refused to play against Afghanistan in a bilateral series since the Taliban regained control of the country in August 2021. CA expressed concerns over the Taliban's policies that have restricted women's and girls' rights, including the suspension of university education and bans on sports.

Many Afghan female athletes, including 22 women cricketers, fled to Australia due to Taliban restrictions. Earlier this year, Cricket Australia postponed a three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. CA stated they would not engage in any bilateral cricket with Afghanistan until these conditions improve.

Also read: Support vs Congratulations! Naveen-ul-Haq takes a dig critics with a cryptic post after Afghanistan's first-ever win over Australia

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Rashid Khan Afghanistan National Cricket Team Australia National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 ICC T20 World Cup