Rashid Khan considers withdrawing from BBL after Australia postpones series with Afghanistan

Afghan cricket star Rashid Khan expressed frustration over Cricket Australia’s recent decision to postpone a T20 series against Afghanistan, indicating he might reconsider participating in the 2025 Big Bash League.

The T20 International series was slated for August at a neutral venue. However, Cricket Australia announced in January that it would defer the matches following consultations with the Australian government, citing “a marked deterioration in the human rights for women and girls” under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Khan said he is “hurt” by the decision and questioned the effectiveness of using cricket as a tool to address these issues. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, he argued that competing against top teams like Australia could significantly enhance Afghan cricket. “You want to play against the best teams, and that’s where your cricket is going to improve,” he remarked.

This postponement marks Australia’s third cancellation of a bilateral series with Afghanistan. The first, a planned Test match in 2021, was delayed, followed by the scrapping of an ODI series in 2023.

“You don’t want to play with my colleagues, and you want to play with me. What’s the difference? It means I’m putting my colleagues down as well as my country,” Khan added.

“As a player, you can’t do much about it,” he continued. “It’s a governmental issue. But what hurts the most is when such decisions impact cricket in Afghanistan.”

Khan, who is set to captain the Afghan team at the 2024 T20 World Cup in June, currently plays for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2024.

He also highlighted the benefits of recent matches, such as the T20 series against India. “Recently, we played three T20s against India, and it helped us a lot,” he noted.