The ODI series supposed to take place in the United Arab Emirates between Australia and Afghanistan has been called off after Cricket Australia’s decision to not proceed with the fixture.
On Thursday, Cricket Australia (CA) announced their withdrawal from the three-match series. The decision came into effect following the Taliban’s recent announcement regarding additional restrictions on girls’ and women’s education and employment. The decision-makers are all the stakeholders, the Australian Government, and the CA.
The statement read, “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.”
Cricket Australia had announced to abandon Test series if Taliban banned Women’s cricket
In September 2021, the Taliban imposed a ban on female participation across all sports, leaving Afghanistan the only nation not to have a women’s cricket team among all ICC-membered nations. With the Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup starting on 14th January, Afghanistan’s women’s team will remain absent.
The 30 points of the ICC ODI Super League which were to be achieved after winning the series will now be directly given to Afghanistan. It will not leave Australia with any worries as they are already in the Top Eight nations in the League to get automatically qualified.
CC 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,” Mr Allardice said.
“It is a concern that progress is not being made in Afghanistan and our board will consider it at its next meeting in March. As far as we are aware, there isn’t any activity at the moment,” he added.