Rashid Khan 'strongly considering BBL future' after Australia call off Afghanistan series

Teams were set to clash in ODI series in the UAE in March

Rashid Khan of Adelaide Strikers during a Big Bash League match against Hobart Hurricanes on January 5, 2023. Getty
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Star Afghanistan cricketer Rashid Khan said he may pull out of future editions of the Big Bash League in response to Australia's decision to opt out of an upcoming series against Afghanistan in the UAE.

The men's team were due to face their Afghan counterparts in three ODI games in March following their tour to India.

Cricket Australia announced the decision citing further restrictions on women's and girls' rights imposed by the Taliban government.

The move has infuriated the Afghanistan board and players alike.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board said it was “extremely disappointed and saddened by the pathetic statement” from Cricket Australia and it would complain to the International Cricket Council, while also consider bringing back its players who are competing in the Big Bash league T20 tournament.

“Cricket has played a significant role in promoting unity and national pride in Afghanistan,” the board said. “After years of war and conflict, cricket has helped to bring people together and provide a sense of normalcy to the country. It has also been an important source of hope and inspiration for all Afghans, particularly young people.”

On his part, Rashid, who plays for Adelaide Strikers, said if Australia does not want to play cricket with Afghans, it makes no sense for his compatriots to play in the BBL.

"I am really disappointed to hear that Australia have pulled out of the series to play us in March," Rashid said on Twitter. "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."

Pace bowler Naveen-ul-Haq also expressed his willingness to pull out of the BBL where he plays for the Sydney Sixers.

"When a country is going through so much in place (of) being supportive you want to take the only reason of happiness from them," he tweeted.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 3:10 PM