Afghanistan’s cricket board said Thursday the decision by its Australian counterpart to withdraw from an upcoming series over a Taliban crackdown on women’s rights was unfair and pathetic.
“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,” the board said in a statement.
“Cricket has played a significant role in promoting unity and national pride in Afghanistan. After years of war and conflict, cricket has helped to bring people together and provide a sense of normalcy to the country. It has also been an important source of hope and inspiration for all Afghans, particularly young people. In addition, Cricket has also been an important tool for promoting education and social development in the country.
“The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has been working to promote cricket in schools and universities, and it has also been using the sport to promote healthy lifestyles and discourage young people from getting involved in drugs and crime. Cricket has been an important tool for promoting peace, unity, and development in Afghanistan, and it will continue to be a source of inspiration and hope for the people of the country in the years to come.
“Afghanistan Cricket Board has always been responsive and expressed its willingness to work together with Cricket Australia and other member boards including stakeholders; to find a solution that supports the development of the game in Afghanistan.”
Return to power
The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021. On December 20, it banned women from attending university and a few days later, banned the, from working for local and international NGOs.
“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,” said Cricket Australia.
“CA is committed to supporting 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.
“We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter.”