Afghanistan and Australia meet in cricket clash in SVG
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June 21, 2024

Afghanistan and Australia meet in cricket clash in SVG

Afghanistan and Australia will meet in match 48 of the 2024 ICC Men’s T/20 Cricket World Cup at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground tomorrow Saturday June 22, 2024, in a Super Eight match up. It will be the first time that the two countries will be facing off, following a number of cancellations by Cricket Australia, over what it terms the worsening ‘conditions for women and girls’ in the country under Taliban rule.

The most recent is a three-match series, which had been scheduled for August 2024, and assigned to be hosted by Afghanistan but with all games played in the United Arab Emirates. Cricket Australia said the human rights situation towards women and girls in Afghanistan has resulted in the postponement.

Suhail Shaheen the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha questioned what it called the CA’s politicization of cricket when contacted by CNN.

According to a Wednesday March 20, 2024, dated CNN report, Shaheen said: “We keep politics separate from sport. Otherwise, [we] all know the atrocities of the Australian soldiers in Afghanistan who killed innocent children and women. At that time, they had forgotten about women’s rights. Now they raise this slogan when it favours them. Why did they not raise a finger about women rights in [the] World Cup when it suited them to play against Afghanistan? Better for them not to mingle politics and sport! Let sport move ahead its own way without hurdles.”

It is the third time Australia has chosen not to play against Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in 2021. It previously cancelled a one-off Test match against Afghanistan that was scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021, before cancelling a three-match ODI series due to be played in the UAE in March 2023.

When the Taliban took over the reign of governance in Afghanistan in 2021 after the United States’ chaotic and controversial withdrawal, the regime immediately restricted the ability for women and girls to participate in sports. This prompted a mass exodus of the country’s professional female athletes to continue to pursue their sporting careers, with the national team’s football and cricket players heading to Australia under the threat of death.

Afghanistan will then play Bangladesh on Monday June 24, 2024 in another Super Eight clash at the Arnos Vale Cricket Grounds.

Afghanistan is the only ICC member who do not have a women’s team.