KABUL: The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Thursday condemned Cricket Australia’s statement and decision to withdraw from the ODI series by terming it “pathetic and unfair”.
In an official statement, ACB expressed their disappointment over Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to withdraw from the ODI series, citing the increased restrictions on women under Taliban rule and also announced to take the matter officially to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Afghanistan Cricket Board is extremely disappointed and saddened by the pathetic statement of Cricket Australia to withdraw from Afghanistan’s home three-match ODI series in March and will officially write to the International Cricket Council about the issue,” an ACB statement read.
The cricket board further termed CA’s decision an “unfortunate attempt to enter the realm of politics and politicize the sport” while also blaming the Australian board for undermining the integrity of the sport.
“Cricket Australia’s decision to withdraw from upcoming matches against Afghanistan is coming after consultation and potential enforcement from the Australian Government which is an unfortunate attempt to enter the realm of politics and politicize the sport,” ACB statement read.
“By prioritizing political interests over the principles of fair play and sportsmanship, Cricket Australia is undermining the integrity of the game and damaging the relationship between the two nations,” it added.
The Afghan board also threatened to “rethink” about the participation of Aghan players in the ongoing BigBash League if the decision to withdraw does not get overturned.
“The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is closely monitoring the situation and is considering taking action, including officially writing to ICC and rethinking the participation of Afghan players in the Big Bash League (BBL), if the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan’s home series is not overturned,” stated ACB.
Notably, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan announced to consider his future in the BigBash League in response to Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to withdraw from the ODI series against Afghanistan.
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) January 12, 2023
“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 my country and we have made great progress on the world stage,” wrote Rashid.
“This decision from CA sets us back in that journey. If playing vs Afghanistan is so uncomfortable for Australia then I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my presence in the BBL.
“Therefore, I will be strongly considering my future in that competition.”
Whereas, another Afghan cricketer Naveen-ul-Haq, who represents Sydney Sixers in BBL, has already announced to part ways with the franchise league after the withdrawal announcement by the Australian board.
time to say won’t be participating in big bash after this until they stop these childish decisions that’s how they went about the one off test now ODI when a country is going through so much in place off being supportive you want to take the only reason of happiness from them #CA
— Naveen ul haq Murid (@imnaveenulhaq) January 12, 2023
“Time to say won’t be participating in big bash after this until they stop these childish decisions that’s how they went about the one off test now ODI when a country is going through so much in place off being supportive you want to take the only reason of happiness from them,” he tweeted soon after the Cricket Australia’s (CA) pull-out decision.
It is worth mentioning that CA on Thursday announced that the decision to pull out of the series was taken in the wake of the Taliban’s recent announcement regarding further restrictions on women and girls’ education and employment.
“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government, Cricket Australia has decided that it is unable to proceed at this time with the upcoming ICC Super League three-match Men’s ODI series between Australia and Afghanistan scheduled for the UAE in March 2023,” the CA statement said.
“This decision follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms.”