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Australia withdraw from Afghanistan ODI series over Taliban’s restrictions on women

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalJan 12, 2023 | 17:16

Australia withdraw from Afghanistan ODI series over Taliban’s restrictions on women

Cricket Australia has withdrawn from the three match ODI series against Afghanistan which was to be played in March in UAE. Photo: Getty

The Australian cricket team has pulled out of an upcoming three-match ODI against Afghanistan because of the strict restrictions imposed by the Taliban on the women of the country. The Australian team was to play Afghanistan in UAE in March, but now the tournament has been cancelled.

In a statement, Cricket Australia said that it cannot proceed with the tour at this time following consultation with the Australian government.

"Following extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders, including the Australian government, Cricket Australia has decided that it is unable to proceed with this time with the upcoming ICC Super League three-match Men's ODI series between Australia and Afghanistan," the statement read.

Australia and Afghanistan have played only four matches so far, included three ODIs and one T20I in Australia last year. Afghanistan has lost all the matches against Australia till now.

Not the first time:  This isn't the first time, Cricket Australia has backed out from a cricket series against Afghanistan. In November 2021 too, the association had withdrawn from the Test series against Afghanistan to be played in Tasmania over Taliban banning sports for women in the country.

  • It had said that driving the growth of women's cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. "Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all, and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level."

Taliban's restrictions on women: Ever since the hardline Islamist group took over the country in August 2021, it has imposed several curbs on women of the country. From barring secondary education to entry in parks on certain days, Taliban has drawn strict lines for women.

  • In December 2022, the Taliban had issued instructions suspending univerisity education for women in Afghanistan.
  • Taliban had also ordered their local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to stop their female employees from coming to work, warning that non compliance would result in revocation of their licenses.

Australian Sports Minister welcomes the move: Reacting to the Cricket Australia's decision to opt out from the tournament against Afganistan, Australian Sports Minister Anika Wells said that she welcomes the move.

  • The Australian government welcomes Cricket Australia's decision to withdraw from the upcoming men's One Day International series against Afghanistan, following Taliban's increased suspension of women and girls rights," she tweeted.

Taliban continues curbs on women: Unmoved by the international criticism the group has been receiving for its treatment against women, the Taliban has been very strict over the rights of women.

  • Though the group had claimed that it would give equal rights to women after taking over Afghanistan in August 2021, it has done the opposite.
  • The United Nations and at least half a dozen major foreign groups said that they have temporarily suspended their operations in Afghanistan.
Last updated: January 12, 2023 | 17:16
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