Cricket Australia has canceled the T20 series against Afghanistan scheduled for August in the UAE due to concerns about women’s rights

Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Tuesday the cancellation of a T20 series against Afghanistan due to concerns over the worsening human rights situation for women and girls under Taliban rule. This decision comes after Australia withdrew from a one-day series in March last year in the United Arab Emirates following strict restrictions imposed by the Taliban, including a ban on Afghan women attending universities.

Originally scheduled to play three T20 matches in the UAE in August this year, Cricket Australia stated that consultations with the Australian government led to the decision to call off the series.

In a statement, CA highlighted the Australian government’s advice indicating deteriorating conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan, citing this as the primary reason for postponing the bilateral series. The Afghanistan Cricket Board did not provide immediate comment on the matter.

Furthermore, CA expressed its commitment to engaging with the Afghan cricket authorities and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to explore potential measures to facilitate the resumption of bilateral matches in the future.

The disbandment of Afghanistan’s women’s team and the flight of several members from the country following the Taliban’s takeover in 2021 underscored the dire situation faced by women in Afghanistan.

In addition to the canceled T20 series, Australia had previously scrapped a one-off Test against Afghanistan in Hobart in the same year. These decisions reflect the broader international concerns surrounding the Taliban’s governance and its impact on human rights, particularly for women and girls.

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