Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan has taken to Twitter to call out Australia over our national team’s decision to withdraw from an ODI tour of Afghanistan scheduled for March.
Who will tell him that women’s rights are more important than cricket? Well, you’d think the fact he has a mother would have got him there on his own but I guess it will have to be me.
Cricket Australia released a statement that read: “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.”
In response the Adelaide Strikers and Afghanistan star took to Twitter and threatened to walk away from the Big Bash League altogether, and wrote: “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.”
Khan’s statement would be food for thought if he actually had a valid point? Is he seriously trying to say that cricket is more important than women’s rights? And get on a soap box about it by throwing in lines like keep politics out of sport? We will when men stop policing women’s lives.
Khan isn’t the only one that is angry. The Afghanistan Cricket Board has labelled Cricket Australia’s decision to withdraw from March’s three-match ODI series as “pathetic.”
And then Twitter has gone wild with people calling out Cricket Australia for making sport political.
Basically, Cricket Australia has got the same response as the Dixie Chicks got when they spoke out against the Bush administration – shut up and sing or, in this case, shut up and bat.
I understand that we don’t like when sport becomes embroiled in politics, but this isn’t about politics; this is about human rights, and Cricket Australia has chosen not to turn a blind eye to the atrocities affecting women in Afghanistan – good on them.
I’m sorry but some things are more important than watching men with good hand eye co-ordination and this is one of them.
In a gender alert published by UN Women, the organisation alleges that teenage girls are no longer allowed to attend school in Afghanistan thanks to the Taliban.
Meanwhile, women that want to attend university face gender segregation and strict dress codes leading to plenty of women quitting their degrees because they feel unsafe.
As of April 2022, 80 per cent of high school girls were prevented from attending classes in the country.
Women aren’t just deprived of their right to education; the report found that most women in Afghanistan are typically confined to their homes and ordered to cover their faces in public spaces.
Employment for women is also tricky because they are have been instructed to only leave home if absolutely necessary, meaning most women don’t feel it is safe enough to pursue work.
The gender report by UN Women also found that domestic violence against women in Afghanistan has reached boiling point, with reports suggesting that 9 out of 10 women have experienced a form of intimate partner abuse in their lifetime.
But, yes, let’s push all that aside and return to the bloody cricket. We should just ignore women’s rights and shake hands, play a game and even have some tea together!
On the surface, it is easy to understand Khan’s anger, but when you dig deeper, his rant is disgusting and lacks empathy.
How can Cricket Australia morally reconcile playing in Afghanistan when women have become second-class citizens?
Khan shouldn’t be mad at Cricket Australia. He should be furious with the Taliban, and any stand taken against the regimen should be applauded. Unlike cricket, women’s lives aren’t just a game and Khan’s rant proves you can lose badly outside of sport.