After Australia pulled out of an upcoming series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, citing Taliban moves to further restrict women’s rights, cricketers from the country are reacting strongly.
Cricket Australia (CA) said their decision was taken after talks with concerned parties that included the Australian government.
“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,” it said in a statement.
“(We) will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country,” it added.
One of the best and top-ranked bowlers Rashid Khan has threatened to pull out of the BBL, where he plays for Adelaide Strikers.
Taking to Twitter, he expressed his disappointment at Australia’s decision and wrote, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul described Australia’s decision as “pathetic”. “The decision to withdraw… is unfair and unexpected and will have a negative impact,” the ACB said in a statement.