Afghan cricket star, Rashid Khan, has threatened to quit Australia’s Big Bash League after Cricket Australia cancelled a one-day international match versus Afghanistan in protest against the Taliban’s latest restrictions on women’s rights.
In a statement on released on Thursday, Cricket Australia said that it had made the decision to withdraw from playing Afghanistan after consulting with its partners and the Australian government. The decision, it said “follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms.”
The Afghanistan Cricket Board said it was “disappointed” and called the decision “pathetic.”
Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s most well known cricketer, reacted furiously, saying that “If playing against 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.”
The Taliban has faced widespread international condemnations following its leadership’s decisions to ban women from universities and work as aid workers. But the group has defended its decisions as “necessary to prevent the mixing of genders” and “to protect our women’s dignity and honour.”