Australia pull out of upcoming one-day series against Afghanistan.
Taliban-controlled nation has banned women from attending university.
Australia will not participate in inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup.
Australia announced its withdrawal from the upcoming one-day international series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates, citing Taliban moves to further restrict women’s rights.
Following a tour to India, the men’s team was scheduled to play three games against their Afghan counterparts in March.
“CA is committed to 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,” said a statement from Cricket Australia.
“We appreciate the Australian Government’s assistance in this matter.”
Due to the fact that Afghanistan is the only ICC full member nation without a women’s team, they will not be participating in the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, which begins on Saturday.
While girls have been prohibited from attending high school since March, Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government banned women from attending universities last month. They have also been barred from entering parks and gyms.
Additionally “concerned,” the ICC will bring up the current events in Afghanistan at its upcoming meeting.
“Since the change in leadership, our board has been keeping an eye on developments, according to ICC CEO Geoff Allardice, who was quoted by cricket.com.au.
“It is concerning that Afghanistan is not making progress, and our board will discuss this issue at its upcoming meeting in March. As far as we can tell, nothing is happening right now.”
The ICC Board also appointed a working group in November 2021 to assess the state of the Afghanistan Cricket Board and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the nation’s political changes.
Imran Khwaja, the group’s chair, is joined by Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo, and Ramiz Raja.
Cricket was virtually unknown in Afghanistan until the early 2000s, and its meteoric rise was linked to conflict — the sport was picked up in Pakistan by Afghan refugees, who then spread it back home.
However, the national team has risen rapidly on the international stage since then, gaining coveted Test status in 2017 and currently ranking among the top-10 sides in the world in the ODI and T20 formats.
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