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Usman Khawaja regrets not seeing Afghanistan play in Australia

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Left-handed opener Usman Khawaja lauded Afghanistan on their historic victory over Australia but expressed regret over not seeing them playing in his country.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Khawaja congratulated Afghanistan on beating Australia in the Super Eights fixture of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

The opening batter did not shy from terming Afghanistan “the better team on the day” before expressing his contradiction with Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision against playing the bilateral series with the Asian side.

“Well done Brother. Better team on the day. You boys are an inspiration for so many back home and abroad. So sad we can’t see you all play in Australia,” Usman Khawaja wrote.

For the unversed, the CA has thrice postponed a bilateral fixture or a series with Afghanistan, citing restrictions on women’s rights in the country.

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In 2021, Australia postponed the one-off Test against Afghanistan, scheduled to be played in Hobart before withdrawing from an ODI series, supposed to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2023.

The postponement drew massive outbursts from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and the Afghan players but the CA remained firm on the stance.

In March 2024, the CA, in consultation with the Australian government, made the decision to shelve the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan and stated that it would continue to engage with the ACB in “anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country”.

“Over the past twelve months, CA has continued to consult with the Australian Government on the situation in Afghanistan. The government’s advice is 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,” stated CA.

READ: Afghanistan’s win over Australia spices up Group 1 semi-final race

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