Citing worsening conditions for women under Taliban rule, Cricket Australia postponed their T20I series in August against Afghanistan for the third time.

Cricket Australia (CA) has once again postponed a scheduled T20 series against Afghanistan, raising concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation for women and girls under Taliban rule.

The three-match T20I series, originally planned for August 2024 and expected to take place in the UAE, has been called off. This marks the third time CA has declined to play Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover in September 2021.

The Taliban’s restrictions on female participation in sports, including cricket, have drawn strong condemnation from CA. Following the Taliban’s rise to power, CA had already cancelled a Test match scheduled for November 2021 in Hobart and then withdrew from a planned ODI series in March 2023.

Regarding the latest withdrawal, CA explicitly stated that “conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan are getting worse. For this reason, we have maintained our previous position and will postpone the bilateral series against Afghanistan.”

“CA continues its strong commitment to supporting participation by women and girls in cricket around the world and will continue to actively engage the International Cricket Council and work closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to determine what actions could be taken to support the resumption of bilateral matches in the future,” added Cricket Australia.

However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has reaffirmed its support for Afghanistan as a full member. “We have spoken with the Afghanistan Cricket Board, and their position is that they have to operate within the laws of the country and the rules as set by the government, and really the question for the ICC Board is, ‘do we support our members in their ability to promote cricket within the rules set by the government of the country?’, and the view is yes,” Geoff Allardice told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Australia will be seen playing their next match against Oman on June 6th in the T20 World Cup.

Last Updated on March 19, 2024