Rashid Khan threatening to quit Big Bash League leaves fate of Afghanistan cricket hanging by a thread

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalJan 13, 2023 | 14:46

Rashid Khan threatening to quit Big Bash League leaves fate of Afghanistan cricket hanging by a thread

Afghanistan player Rashid Khan has threatened to pull out of Australian domestic league BBL, after Australian team refused to play Afghanistan in a 3-match ODI in March in UAE. Photo: Getty

Afghanistan's star player Rashid Khan has reacted to Cricket Australia's decision to opt out of the upcoming three-match ODI series. In a statement put out by Khan on Twitter, he said that if playing with Afghanistan is a cause of discomfort to Australia, then he might also have to think about his future with Big Bash League (BBL). 

Rashid Khan plays for Adelaide Strikers at the BBL. This season, he played eight matches for the Strikers before leaving to play for MI Cape Town in the SA20. He was not even expected to return to the BBL this season because of conflicting commitments.

Rashid Khan speaks: "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 our country and we have made great progress on the world stage. This decision from CA sets us back in that journey."

"If playing vs Afghanistan is so uncomfortable with my presence in the BBL. Therefore, I will be strongly considering my future in that competition," Khan said."

  • Rashid's statement comes after Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had put out a statement condemning Cricket Australia's decision to opt out from playing against Taliban because of the political decisions taken by the Taliban government on the women of the country.
  • The board said that now it would also "rethink the participation of Afghan players in the Big Bash League" if CA does not overturn its decision.
  • "The decision to withdraw from playing the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan is unfair and unexpected, and will have a negative impact on the development and growth of cricket in Afghanistan as well as it will affect the love and passion of the Afghan nation for the game."
  • The board said that cricket as a sport brought people together after years of war and conflict.It has also been an important source of hope and inspiration for all Afghans, particularly young people. In addition, cricket has also been another important tool for promoting education and social development in the country.
  • And this isn't also the first time, that the Australian cricket board has canceled a tour against Afghanistan. In November 2021, also the Australian Board has denied playing against Afghanistan in a Test match, in the back of Taliban's strict laws against women of the country.
    Photo: Social Media


How this impacts the Afghanistan cricket: Afghanistan as a cricket team has flourished only recently in the last couple of years, especially since 2018, when the team made its Test debut. 

  • With players like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz making international headlines, Afghanistan has become a strong team, more so in the T20 format where they have given some tough competitions to teams like India, Pakistan, South Africa. 
  • In a scintillating performance in the inaugural match of T20 World Cup in Australia, Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka, in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Even in the Asia Cup in September 2022, Afghanistan gave a tough fight to Pakistan in a thrilling game.
  • The exposure to domestic leagues like BBL and IPL has further boosted the game of the Afghan players. But with latest happenings, as politics takes over cricket, things don't look good for Afghan cricket.

Doesn't change anything for Taliban: While the international criticism against Taliban's decision banning the university education for women, might bring shame, it doesn't change anything as far as the stance of the Taliban is concerned.

  • The Afghanistan Cricket Board has not spoken anything about the curbs on women's rights instead has threatened to think about its participation in cricket leagues of other countries.

In all of this, the Afghanistan cricket and its players are going to suffer the most.

Last updated: January 13, 2023 | 14:46
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