Australia withdraw from upcoming Afghanistan ODI series

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Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the national team's withdrawal from a planned ODI series against Afghanistan due to the Taliban's treatment of women.

Australia were scheduled to take on Afghanistan in a three-game ODI series in the United Arab Emirates in March, as part of the ICC Super League.

But CA announced on Thursday that it would opt out of the series following consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government.

"This decision follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women and girls' education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms," CA said in a statement.

"CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan, and will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country.

"We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter."

The Taliban took back control of Afghanistan in 2021 when NATO forces left the country in a chaotic withdrawal.

That ended a 20-year war, which began when the United States invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001.