Rashid Khan considers BBL future after Australia withdraws from Afghanistan series

Rashid Khan is “seriously evaluating” his future in the Big Bash League after Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the national team’s withdrawal from a planned ODI series against Afghanistan.

Australia was set to play Afghanistan in a three-match One-Day International series in the United Arab Emirates in March as part of the ICC Super League.

However, CA confirmed their decision to withdraw from the series on Thursday, citing the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls. The Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021, following NATO’s disastrous exit from the nation.

CA stated in a statement: “This decision was made after consultation with important parties, including the Australian Government.”

Afghanistan T20I captain Rashid posted a response on Twitter that read: “Cricket! The only hope for the country. Keep politics out of it,” including a statement outlining his disappointment, before questioning whether Australia’s concerns should also lead to him withdrawing from the Big Bash League, where he plays for Adelaide Strikers.

“I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March,” he wrote. “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.”

The Afghanistan Cricket Board also issued a strong statement, saying it was “extremely disappointed and saddened by the pathetic statement of Cricket Australia” and adding it would “write to the International Cricket Council about the issue.”