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Afghanistan Cricket Board advocates for neutral, politics-free cricket after Australia postpones T20I series again

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is disappointed over Cricket Australia’s decision to postpone a three-match men’s T20I series scheduled for August this year and stated that cricket should be neutral and politics-free.

Cricket Australia on Tuesday had announced the postponement of the series, saying it would, “continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country”.

In a statement, ACB said, “The Afghanistan Cricket Board expresses disappointment over Cricket Australia’s decision to postpone yet another bilateral series against Afghanistan and reiterates its stance on neutral and politics-free cricket across the globe.”

“ACB advocates for keeping cricket distinct from political influence, considering the game’s significance in Afghanistan and its connection to the happiness and joy of the Afghan Nation.”

“ACB acknowledges the pressures faced by Cricket Australia from the Australian Government and emphasizes on the importance of addressing such issues through collaborative efforts between the two cricket boards. The ACB also urges the Australian government not to impose its policies on cricket boards and instead focus on supporting the development of cricket across regions.” 

The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in August 2021 resulted in restrictions on women’s rights to work and study.

CA had cancelled a single Test match against Afghanistan, which was originally scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021. Additionally, CA withdrew from a three-match ODI series that was supposed to be held in the UAE in March 2023.

As an immediate fallout of that decision, Afghanistan star player Rashid Khan had threatened to boycott returning to the BBL before taking a u-turn and returning to the Adelaide Strikers. He missed the tournament due to an injury.

The statement further mentioned, “ACB urges Cricket Australia to respect and understand its position as a Full Member nation and look for alternative solutions rather than succumbing to external pressures and/or political influences.”

“The Afghanistan Cricket Board remains committed to negotiating with the International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia, and other full member countries and adhering to ICC principles to ensure cricket remains free from political influence and supported by all parties involved.”

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