Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley hits back at Rashid Khan and Naveen ul haq and insists ‘fundamental human rights are NOT politics’ after the couple threatened to leave the Big Bash after it was decided to withdraw from the Afghanistan withdraw series
Cricket Australia has hit back at criticism for pulling out of a white ball series against Afghanistan, with chief executive Nick Hockley declaring “fundamental human rights are not politics”.
Australia’s decision to withdraw from the three-game ODI series against Afghanistan drew strong condemnation, including a threat from Rashid Khan to withdraw from the BBL.
The Afghan star, one of the tournament’s most popular players, claimed he was “heavily considering” his future in Australia’s T20 league over the matter.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley defended the decision to withdraw from a three-day ODI series against Afghanistan because of “further restrictions” on women’s rights in the Taliban-ruled country
In Thursday’s announcement, CA cited the Taliban’s ban on college education for girls in Afghanistan.
But the Afghanistan Cricket Board called the decision “pathetic” and will complain to the ICC that Australia “prioritises political interests over the principles of fair play and sportsmanship”.
It also said Australia was “undermining the integrity of the game and damaging the relationship between the two nations” and would reconsider allowing players to compete in the BBL.
But Hockley was adamant on Friday that his organization could not be accused of putting politics over sport.
Rashid Khan has threatened to leave the Big Bash League following Cricket Australia’s decision
“It is clearly a very challenging and sad situation. We have not taken this decision lightly and have consulted extensively, including with our government,” Hockley said.
“We had hopes of playing the series and have been in regular dialogue with the Afghanistan Cricket Board.
“However, announcements by the Taliban in late November and late December signaling the degradation of basic human rights for women in Afghanistan led to our decision to withdraw from these games.
“Basic human rights are not politics.”
Australia has canceled its one-day series against Afghanistan, which is due to take place in March
Pat Cummins’ team was scheduled to play in a three-game series in the ICC Super League
Hockley also stressed that his organization had no problem with Rashid or other players like the Sydney Sixers’ speedy Naveen-ul-Haq, who also threatened to boycott the tournament.
“We recognize and welcome the statements made by Rashid Khan and other Afghan cricketers at the time condemning the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities.
“Rashid will always be welcome in the BBL.”
Hockley was joined in the decision by Australian white ball stars Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa on Friday.
Afghan star cricketer Naveen ul haq (left) has also threatened to boycott the Big Bash
But Rashid was emphatic in his anger.
“I am very proud to represent my country and we have made great strides on the world stage,” Rashid said in a statement.
“This decision by CA sets us back on this journey.
“If Australia is so uncomfortable playing Afghanistan then I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my presence in the BBL. So I will give my future a lot of thought in this competition.’
Khan took to Twitter to explain that he is “strongly considering” his future in the Big Bash.
In a tweet to Cricket Australia accounts, BBL and ACB officials, Rashid added: “Cricket! The only hope for the country. Keep politics out of it.”
With Afghan players retiring from the BBL, there remains a huge void to be filled as players like Mohammad Nabi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Qais Ahmad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Izharulhaq Naveed and Naveen-ul-Haq have excelled in recent years .
CA previously canceled a game in Afghanistan over the Taliban government’s policy towards women, a one-off test scheduled for November 2021.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-11631901/Cricket-Australia-boss-Nick-Hockley-hits-Rashid-Khan-Naveen-ul-haq.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley hits back at Rashid Khan and Naveen ul haq