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Cricket Australia has cancelled the men's T20 match against Afghanistan citing concerns about the protection of women's rights.
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Cricket Australia has cancelled the men’s T20 match against Afghanistan citing concerns about the protection of women’s rights.

The planned second round of men’s cricket matches between Australia and Afghanistan, set to take place for the second year in a row, has been delayed due to concerns about the treatment and rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The one-day international series between Australia and the United Arab Emirates scheduled for March 2023 has been cancelled due to reports of worsening treatment of women in the UAE.

It was expected that the circumstances would improve, with high hopes for a three-game T20 series to be approved for August of this year. This series was planned to be played at a neutral location in the UAE.

However, on Tuesday, Cricket Australia stated that the situation under Taliban control in the country was deteriorating instead of improving. After discussing with the Australian government once again, they ultimately decided to cancel another series.

A statement stated that according to the government’s guidance, the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan is deteriorating. As a result, we will be upholding our previous stance and delaying the bilateral series with Afghanistan.

“CA remains dedicated to promoting the involvement of women and girls in international cricket, and will actively collaborate with the International Cricket Council and the Afghanistan Cricket Board to explore potential solutions for the resumption of bilateral matches in the future.”

Australia has declined to play against Afghanistan three times since the Taliban took back control of the country in September 2021 and implemented limitations on women playing sports.

In addition to the two white-ball series, Cricket Australia (CA) has also cancelled a single Test match scheduled for November 2021 in Hobart.

The Afghan Cricket Board faced backlash for their choice to cancel the ODI series last year, with the board being called out for being “pathetic” and “extremely disappointing”. Rashid Khan, the T20 captain of Afghanistan, even went as far as threatening to leave the Big Bash League. However, he ended up signing with the Adelaide Strikers, but was unable to participate due to an injury.

Source: theguardian.com