Australia withdraw from ODI series against Afghanistan due to Taliban curbs on women


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Cricket Australia has decided to withdraw from contesting in the ODI series against Afghanistan, initially scheduled to be played in March, in UAE. The board took the decision citing Taliban’s restrictions on women in various aspects.

In an official statement, CA clarified that the restrictions on women and girls seeking education and employment under the Taliban regime has pushed them to take the call.

For the uninitiated, Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 2021 and imposed ban on female participation in sports, including the Afghanistan national women’s team which has become the primary reason for the Aussies to not engage in the bilateral series.

“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,” the CA statement read.

“We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter.”

“Cricket Australia 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,” captioned CA on their official Twitter handle.

CA calls off bilateral fixture for second-time in two years 

Earlier, the Aussies were to play a one-off Test match in Hobart in November 2021. However, the board confirmed that the red-ball contest would be postponed due to the Taliban government’s policies on women. 

That said, the two sides last locked horns in the T20 World Cup 2022, held in Australia and are slated to meet twice in the Future Tours cycle in 2024 and 2026. Australia and Afghanistan have just played one ODI in 2012, thus far and never clashed in a red-ball contest. 

With the Aussies withdrawing from the three-match series (part of the World Cup Super League), Afghanistan will be awarded 30 points. However, the points will not carry much importance for Australia as they have already cemented their place in the 2023 ODI World Cup.

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