'Basic Human Rights Is Not Politics': Cricket Australia Defends Decision To Scrap Afghan Series

'Basic Human Rights Is Not Politics': Cricket Australia Defends Decision To Scrap Afghan Series
Australia defended their hotly criticised decision to pull out of a cricket series against Afghanistan, saying they could not go ahead with the matches because of the Taliban's crackdown on women’s rights.


“Basic human rights is not politics,” CA chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement on Friday. “It is clearly a very challenging and sad situation. We did not take this decision lightly,” he added.

Afghanistan’s cricket board lashed out at the cancelation. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai also said he was "disappointed" in Cricket Australia's decision.


Australia and Afghanistan were scheduled to play three one day international (ODIs) cricket matches in the United Arab Emirates in March 2023, but Cricket Australia (CA) scrapped the series after consultations with "various stakeholders" including the Australian government.

“However, announcements by the Taliban in late November and late December, signalling the deterioration of basic human rights for women in Afghanistan, led to our decision to withdraw from these games,” Hockley said.

He added that the Australian cricket authority had consulted with the Australian government before deciding to scrap the upcoming series.

Cricket Australia had been hopeful of playing Afghanistan and remained in regular contact with the Afghanistan Cricket Board

Afghanistan’s best-known international cricketer, leg-spinner Rashid Khan, had criticised the cancellation, warning that he would be “strongly considering” his future in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL).


“We acknowledge and applaud Rashid Khan’s and other Afghanistan cricketers’ comments at the time condemning the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities. Rashid will always be welcome in the BBL,” Hockley responded.

"Australia was committed to growing the game for women and men," the Cricket Australia chief said. He hoped better conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan will allow cricket between the two countries to resume “in the not too distant future”.