Rashid, who plays for Adelaide Strikers in the BBL, took over the reins of Afghanistan T20I side from Mohammad Nabi, who stepped down as captain in November after the team was eliminated from the T20 World Cup.
Taking to Twitter, the top-ranked T20I bowler Rashid expressed his disappointment at Australia’s decision and also contemplated his presence in the BBL.
“I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March. 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.”
Cricket! The only hope for the country.Keep politics out of it. @CricketAus @BBL @ACBofficials ♥️ 🇦🇫 ♥️ https://t.co/ZPpvOBetPJ
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) 1673527416000
Cricket Australia (CA) said their decision was taken after talks with concerned parties that included the Australian government.
“This decision 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,” it said in a statement.
“CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan.
“(We) will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country,” it said.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul described Australia’s decision as “pathetic”.
“The decision to withdraw… is unfair and unexpected and will have a negative impact,” the ACB said in a statement, which did not mention the shrinking of women’s rights in Afghanistan nor the Taliban’s ban on female sport.