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Citing worsening women’s rights, Cricket Australia scraps Afghanistan T20Is | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Australia cancelled a T20 men’s cricket series scheduled for later this year against Afghanistan on Tuesday, citing a worsening state of affairs for women in the Taliban-ruled nation.
Cricket Australia said that the three-match series set for August at a neutral venue has been postponed after receiving advice “that conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan are getting worse”.
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Afghanistan’s love of cricket has grown dramatically in the last few years because to victories over more powerful countries in international competitions.
However, women are essentially forbidden from playing the game under the Taliban‘s form of Islamic governance.
“Strong commitment to supporting participation by women and girls in cricket around the world” is the position maintained by Australia’s cricket governing body.
Australia has declined to play Afghanistan outside of international competitions for the third time since 2021.
A one-time Test match was canceled by Cricket Australia in 2021, just months after the Taliban took control once more.
“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan,” officials said at the time.
In 2023, Australia pulled out of a three-match one-day international series in the UAE, with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in Kabul describing the decision as “pathetic”.
Afghanistan’s best known cricketer, leg-spinner Rashid Khan, threatened to boycott Australia’s Big Bash League as a result.
Prior to the Taliban’s comeback, Afghanistan’s cricket body was gradually promoting the sport among women and had even hired a few semi-professional players for 2020.
Eventually, the majority of those players would escape to Australia.
The two countries last played at the 50-over World Cup in India last year when Australia won by three wickets en route to lifting the trophy.
(With AFP inputs)

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