Australia Withdraws from ODI Series against Afghanistan Following Restrictions on Women’s Rights

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Australia men’s team has withdrawn from their one-day international (ODI) series against Afghanistan in March following further restrictions on women’s and girls’ rights. Australia and Afghanistan were scheduled to play three ODIs in the United Arab Emirates but CA scrapped the series after "extensive consultation" with stakeholders, including the Australian government.

Australia's men's team has withdrawn from their one-day international (ODI) series against Afghanistan in March following further restrictions on women's and girls' rights imposed by the Taliban, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Thursday.

 

Afghanistan's Taliban-led administration last month imposed a ban on women attending universities. Girls have been banned from high school since March. They have also been excluded from parks and gyms.

 

Australia and Afghanistan were scheduled to play three ODIs in the United Arab Emirates but CA scrapped the series after "extensive consultation" with stakeholders, including the Australian government.

 

"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 said in a statement.

 

"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."

 

The series formed part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Super League, where the top eight teams automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup. Australia have already qualified for the tournament.

 

Australia were scheduled to play a test match against Afghanistan in November 2021 but the fixture was postponed after the Taliban seized power in August of that year.

 

Afghanistan remains the only ICC full member nation without a women's team. They have continued to appear at ICC events since the Taliban takeover, however, and faced Australia during last year's Twenty20 World Cup.