Cricket Australia (CA), on Thursday, announced the decision to cancel the men’s One-Day International (ODI) series against Afghanistan, scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2023.
CA informed that they have decided to withdraw from the three-match leg following consultation with all the stakeholders, including the Australian Government. In an official statement, the apex Australian cricket body explained, the decision not to proceed further is due to the Taliban’s announcement concerning restrictions on Women’s participation in sports.
Notably, Afghanistan is the only ICC full-member nation without a women’s team. They will also be the only full member without a side at the upcoming inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup starting on Saturday.
“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 CA statement read.
The battle against the Afghan side was part of the ICC ODI Super League, and upon cancelling the series, the Aussies will lose the 30 competition points, which shall be awarded to Afghanistan.
However, it is less likely to impact Australians as they are one of the top eight ranked nations in the Super League and have already secured automatic qualification to the ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place in India in October.
Australia will play three ODIs in India following the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, five in South Africa, and three more in India preceding the World Cup, but none of these are part of the Super League.