Cricket Australia made headlines when it suddenly announced its withdrawal from the ODI series scheduled against Afghanistan in March, citing concerns related to the Taliban. This surprising decision not only raised questions but also triggered controversy within the cricketing community.

Australia’s decision to withdraw from the ODI series against Afghanistan left both Afghan fans and players puzzled. The series was a part of the ICC ODI Super League, offering vital points for both teams to strengthen their standings. Nevertheless, due to Cricket Australia’s forfeiture, all 30 points allocated for the series went directly to Afghanistan, without any loss incurred by Australia.

Prior to this ODI series controversy, Australia and Afghanistan were slated to face off in a Test match in November 2021. However, this match was abruptly canceled following the Taliban’s assumption of power in Afghanistan in August of the same year.

In a subtle dig at Australia just before their meeting in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 group stages, Afghan cricketer Naveen-ul-Haq indirectly alluded to Australia’s past decisions to forfeit. In an Instagram post, Naveen-ul-Haq remarked, “Having refused to participate in bilateral series, it will be interesting to see where Cricket Australia stands in the World Cup. #standards #humanrights or 2 points.”

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Afghanistan has notched up four wins in the 2023 World Cup, triumphing over defending champions England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands. Afghanistan is now preparing to take on Australia and subsequently South Africa. The team is committed to securing a place in the semi-finals and scripting a historic and sensational campaign. Their journey is already etched in history, and reaching the semi-finals would be a remarkable accomplishment.