Cricket news | Australia cancels tour to UAE amid Taliban turmoil in Afghanistan

Cricket Australia has cancelled its forthcoming tour to the United Arab Emirates to play Afghanistan due to Taliban-imposed women’s rights restrictions.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, women have been subject to strict sanctions.

Among them is the prohibition of playing sports as well as limiting education and employment opportunities. 

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Australia’s men’s team were to play Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series this March. 

However, Cricket Australia has decided, in consultation with the federal government, that the tour is untenable. 

“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,” a Cricket Australia statement read.

“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.

“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.”

It means Australia forfeits the series, handing Afghanistan the lumpsum 30 points on offer for the ICC ODI Super League.

That has little impact on Australia, having already qualified for the 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in India.

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