Australia withdraw from ODI series against Afghanistan following the ruling Taliban’s announcement about further curbs on women and girls’ education and employment in this country.

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What happened?

Australia have withdrawn from the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan scheduled to be played in the UAE in March.

The official statement was released on 12th of January after thorough discussion with the government.

It is stated by Cricket Australia (CA) that the body is strongly against the further curbs on on women and girls’ education and employment in Afghanistan.

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Australia withdraw from ODI series against Afghanistan |
Australia withdraw from ODI series against Afghanistan

“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,” ,” the CA statement read.

First time for such act?

This is not the first time CA have taken a strong stance against the policies of the Afghanistan government.

In 2021, the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan and placed restrictions on female participation in sport. CA condemned this and eventually called off one-off Test scheduled to be played in Hobart in November of that year.

Afghanistan, found themselves in the middle of controversies for years. They are the only full member nation without a women’s team and without a representative participating team at the inaugural Women’s Under-19 World Cup, starting later this week.

This did not go unnoticed by ICC, as the CEO Geoff Allardice acknowledged that recent developments were “concerning”, and said the topic would be raised at the ICC’s next meeting

“Our board has been monitoring progress since the change of regime,” Allardice said.

“It is a concern that progress is not being made in Afghanistan and it’s something our board will consider at its next meeting in March. As far as we are aware, there isn’t any activity at the moment.”

What’s next?

By withdrawing from the series, Australia will concede 30 ODI Super League points to Afghanistan that were on offer in Australia’s last assignment of the cycle.

But the five-time champions will not be affected by the loss of points, having already secured qualification to the 50-over World Cup, that’ll be held in India in October-November this year.


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