The Australian cricket team was going to play against their Afghan counterparts in the United Arab Emirates, however, Australia pulled out of the series over the Taliban's further restrictions on women's rights.
Citing Taliban's ban on university education for women in Afghanistan, Australia's national cricket team pulled out of an upcoming one-day series against the country on Thursday.
In March, the men's team were set to face their Afghan counterparts in the United Arab Emirates in three matches. However, Cricket Australia (CA) said it has withdrawn from the series after consulting with stakeholders, including the Australian government.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," CA said in a statement.
"CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan," it said adding, "[We] will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country."
For this series, Australia will be forfeiting 30 competition points which are added to the score for World Cup qualification. But the Australian team had already secured the automatic qualification in India last October.
In 2021, Australia was slated to play a test match against Afghanistan but the match was postponed after Taliban overthrew the internationally recognized government and seized control following the withdrawal of US-led troops.
Taliban imposed restrictions on women's participation in sports immediately after it seized power in August 2021.
Among all the teams part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) International Cricket Council (ICC), Afghanistan is the only full member nation without a women's team.
After banning teenage girls from attending secondary schools, last month Taliban also banned women from attending universities.
Under the Taliban's regime, many women have lost their government jobs. More recently, Taliban ordered that women can no longer work in Afghanistan's aid sector.