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  5. Australia should play bilateral series against Afghanistan, says Usman Khawaja

Australia should play bilateral series against Afghanistan, says Usman Khawaja

Australia have pulled out of bilateral series against Afghanistan multiple times citing 'violation of human rights' in the latter country as the reason. But they face Afghanistan in the ICC events and Khawaja reckons Cricket Australia's stance is hypocritical.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: June 24, 2024 17:03 IST
T20 World Cup 2024
Image Source : PTI Afghanistan

The debate around Australia not playing Afghanistan in bilateral contests has opened up again after the latter side's victory over the 2021 T20 World Champions on Sunday. Afghanistan defended 148 runs against Australia in the Super 8 encounter of T20 World Cup 2024 played at Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent. Australia's Test opener Usman Khawaja believes that Cricket Australia should soften its stance now and play against the Asian team.

Notably, CA cancelled the one-off Test to be played at home and the three-match T20I series away against Afghanistan over the last yeaer or so citing 'violation of human rights' as a reason. However, the team continues to face Rashid Khan and his men in the World Cup matches across both formats. Khawaja termed CA's stance as hypocritical pointing out that even in Big Bash League (BBL), Afghanistan's players are allowed to play.

"I personally think yes we should be playing Afghanistan. I am sympathetic to both sides of the puzzle. I totally respect and agree with a lot of aspects of the stance Cricket Australia has in terms of women's cricket in Afghanistan, but there's also another side to it, of promoting and growing the game. It's a little bit hypocritical too if we say no we're not going to play Afghanistan, but then allowing Afghanistan cricketers to play in the BBL.

"They 100 percent should [play], but then how do you do one and not the other?" Khawaja said while speaking to Nine Newspapers at an Amazon Prime event in Melbourne. Opening up on the issue, Afghanistan captain Rashid also stated that he doesn't know what is the solution for this issue. "Some things which are not under the control of anyone in cricket, and that's something we can't do anything about it. Wish we could do something, and wish that was a kind of solution for it, we would have been happy, but I don't know what's the solution for that," he said.


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