NZ Cricket ponders following Australia lead on playing Afghanistan

New Zealand Cricket is discussing what action, if any, it might take in relation to games against Afghanistan following Cricket Australia’s decision to postpone an upcoming T20 series due to human rights concerns for women and girls in the Taliban controlled country.

The Black Caps are scheduled to play Afghanistan in a test for the first time in September.

They are also due to play Afghanistan in a World Cup group match in Guyana in June and in a white series either in India or UAE in 2026.

It’s the third time Australia’s pulled out of games against Afghanistan having previously cancelled a one-off test that was due to be played in Hobart in 2021 and last year it withdrew from a three-match ODI series due to be played in UAE.

In a statement New Zealand Cricket public affairs manager Richard Boock said: “It’s an issue our Board will be discussing in its next meeting on Wednesday and possibly throughout the intervening period.

“However, we won’t be making any comment on our position until after the Black Caps tour of Pakistan, which starts next month.”

New Zealand will play a five match T20 series against Pakistan starting in Rawalpindi on 18 April.

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Recently at the MCC’s annual Colin Cowdrey lecture former England international turned cricket commentator Isa Guha said “the game can probably do more to try and support these women and stand up to gender oppression.”

She suggested the ICC have “overlooked or ignored” their own constitution in failing to act.

“I look at it in terms of those who are being oppressed so imagine yourself waking up and you’ve lost all basic human rights. The idea of playing cricket is gone and that was something that gave you hope. You’ve had to burn your kit because you don’t know what is going to happen to you or your family.”

Guha acknowledged that while the women in Afghanistan support the men’s team and the hope it creates for the country, it’s also “a damning reminder of the stark reality that they face, in that the world has turned their back on them”.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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