CA Responded Back to BBL Boycott threats from Afghanistan Players

Cricket Australia just yesterday announced to cancel their ODI series against Afghanistan in UAE because of the provocative statements given by the Taliban Government related to girls’ education and the lack of support from the Afghan government to build their women’s cricket team. This is the 2nd time when Cricket Australia canceled their bilateral series against Afghanistan citing reasons for lack of support and infrastructure for Women’s cricket in the country. 

After an official decision was made by CA and informed the ACB regarding their decision, Cricket Australia came under severe criticism from Afghanistan’s current players namely Naveen-ul-Haq & Rashid Khan. Naveen immediately announced to boycott of BBL in the coming editions as he is currently playing for Sydney Sixers while Rashid Khan already left BBL earlier to play in SA20 League for MI Cape Town where Rashid is named as captain.  

Rashid Khan tweeted in disappoitment about the hard decision by Cricket Australia and threatened to think about his Big Bash future in the coming years. The complete statement from Rashid on this saga is as follows.

The statement from Naveen-ul-Haq is as follows.

Nick Hockley, who is the CEO of Cricket Australia has responded back to Rashid & Naveen’s disappointment over this decision. Nick stressed that basic human rights is not politics and CA could not be accused of putting politics above sport. The complete statement is as follows.

It is clearly a very challenging and sad situation. We did not take this decision lightly and consulted widely including with our government. We were hopeful of playing the series and have been in regular dialogue with the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

However, announcements by the Taliban in late November and late December signaling the deterioration of basic human rights for women in Afghanistan led to our decision to withdraw from these games. Basic human rights is not politics.

We acknowledge and applaud Rashid Khan’s and other Afghanistan cricketers’ comments at the time condemning the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities. Rashid will always be welcome in the BBL.

Nick Hockley CEO Cricket Australia

While responding to CA’s official decision, Afghanistan Cricket Board was also not happy with the decision and labeled this decision to cancel the ODI series as “pathetic” and will now reach out to ICC and file an official complaint for prioritizing political interests over the principles of fair play and sportsmanship against Cricket Australia. 

ACB’s official press release also said that Australia undermined the integrity of the game and damaged the relationship between the two nations and they would rethink allowing players to feature in the BBL in the future. Afghanistan players have been a crucial part of Big Bash for many years and if they do decide to impose a ban on BBL it will leave a big void to fill interms of overseas players at the Big Bash. Mohammad Nabi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Qais Ahmad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Izharulhaq Naveed, and Naveen-ul-Haq have all made their presence felt in Australia through great match-winning performances. 

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