Rashid Khan Threatens To Pull Out Of BBL After Australia Cancel ODI Series vs Afghanistan
The Afghanistan cricketers have decided not to tolerate any bullying from Cricket Australia (CA) as their main man, Rashid Khan, - along with seamer Naveen-ul-Haq - has declared they will not turn up for the Big Bash League (BBL) from next season onwards if CA doesn’t retract their decision to call off the ODI series Afghanistan.
Thursday was quite an action-packed day involving CA, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), and the Afghanistan cricketers. CA sparked up the controversy by announcing that Australia will not play Afghanistan for the 3-ODI series which is scheduled to be played in the UAE in March, citing the Taliban’s further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment in the country as their reason.
Afghanistan’s T20I skipper Rashid Khan has shot back, stating that he is “really disappointed” on CA’s decision, and if CA is “so uncomfortable” playing against Afghanistan, then Rashid “wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable” by playing in the BBL, where not only he is a key part of the Adelaide Strikers but also is their biggest overseas attraction.
“I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March,” Rashid said in a post. “I take great pride in representing my country, and we have made great progress on the world stage. This decision from CA sets us back in that journey. If playing vs Afghanistan is so uncomfortable for Australia, then I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my presence in the BBL. Therefore, I will be strongly considering my future in that competition.”
Rashid recently played in 8 matches for Strikers this season before leaving to captain the MI Cape Town in the SA20.
Pacer Naveen-ul-Haq, who plays for Sydney Sixers, also uttered similar sentiments as Rashid.
"time to say won’t be participating in big bash after this until they stop these childish decisions that’s how they went about the one off test now ODI when a country is going through so much in place off being supportive you want to take the only reason of happiness from them," Naveen tweeted.
As Naveen mentioned, CA had canceled their previous commitment to ACB: when in November 2021, CA were supposed to host Afghanistan for a historic Test match in Hobart, but after the Taliban took over the country, and imposed a ban on their women's cricket team, CA called off that Test. And recently the Taliban banned women from education and universities, giving CA a reason to cancel their ODI matches with the Afghanistan men's team.
The ACB has condemned CA's statement as "pathetic" and said they will take the matters to the ICC.
Interestingly, and the reason many are slamming CA for their hypocrisy, Australia played Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup 2022 where there were 2 crucial points, and a potential semi-final berth at stake.