Rashid Khan, captain of Afghanistan, talks to media in a press conference during the ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup

Rashid Khan has questioned Australia’s decision to boycott Afghanistan in bilateral cricket after his side beat the 2021 champions comprehensively in the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The victory was historic, marking Afghanistan's first win over Australia. Rashid shed light on the significance of the momentous occasion: "So, we the sportsmen, we only think about the cricket. All the time, everyone is saying, sports bring the nation together and bring everyone together. So, for me, we're always happy to play against any side, and that's the only way where our cricket can get improving day by day."

Afghanistan's cricket team have been playing against the backdrop of turmoil back home ever since the Taliban swept to power in 2021, setting back women's rights in the country. Afghanistan's nascent women's cricket team, who have never played an international match, were forced to flee the country and still live in exile. Australia have refused to play Afghanistan outside of World Cups in light of this.

“The government’s advice is that conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan are getting worse,” a statement from Cricket Australia read after their latest pull-out in March this year. “For this reason, we have maintained our previous position and will postpone the bilateral series against Afghanistan.

“CA continues its strong commitment to supporting participation by women and girls in cricket around the world and will continue to actively engage the International Cricket Council and work closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to determine what actions could be taken to support the resumption of bilateral matches in the future.”

When asked about Australia’s stance, Rashid wished for a “solution for it": "[There are] some things, which is not under the control of anyone in cricket, and that's something we can't do anything about it. I don't know what's the solution for that. But we as a nation, that's the only source where we could play, enjoy, bring happiness to the country."

He added: "We're happy to play any side. As I mentioned earlier, some things, government, and political things, I don't know much about these things and I don't like it as well. So, I have no answer for this, but my only thing always in the mind is I love to play against the big teams. I love to travel all around the world to play and I have received so much so much love from everyone."


Several Afghanistan cricketers, including Rashid, accused Cricket Australia of hypocrisy after the governing body boycotted an ODI series in March last year, citing concerns regarding the “freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan”.

Rashid has spoken out against the education ban on women in his country in the past but also threatened to pull out of the Big Bash League in protest at CA's stance. Although an injury forced him out of the last season, Rashid expressed gratitude for the "love and support" he receives whenever he plays a match in Adelaide, the home ground for his BBL franchise Adelaide Strikers.

"Whenever I go to Australia in the Big Bash, I have got so much love and support from the fans there. They have given me so much love. Even in the 2022 World Cup, when we were playing in Adelaide against Australia, I got more support than them. And that was so satisfying," Rashid said.

Rashid urged not to mix cricket with politics: "I have so much fans there, so much people there. But as I said, I love to play everywhere all around the world. And those things which are not under the control, and cricket is not the solution, I don't think we can bring sports into that.

"If there is other solution, you can take that. But I don't think cricket is the solution of politics and things like that. So, yeah, if we play in World Cup, why don't we play in bilateral series?"

The Afghanistan captain concluded by saying, "I think we're happy to play against the best sides. We learn from them. We get better day by day. But that's the only thing I can say."

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