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HomeSports UpdateAustralia Star Usman Khawaja Hails "Inspirational" Afghanistan Amid 'Human Rights' Controversy

Australia Star Usman Khawaja Hails “Inspirational” Afghanistan Amid ‘Human Rights’ Controversy





Australia Test stalwart Usman Khawaja expressed his sadness at Afghanistan not being able to play in Australia, as he congratulated Afghanistan’s historic 2024 T20 World Cup win over his own country. Earlier in the year, Cricket Australia had cancelled a bilateral series against Afghanistan over the country’s “marked deterioration” in the treatment of women and children, following the rise of the Taliban regime. While the Afghanistan cricketers remain puzzled over the decision, Khawaja stated that the Afghanistan side was an inspiration.

Replying to a tweet by Rashid Khan celebrating Afghanistan’s 21-run win over Australia, Khawaja said:

“Well done Brother. Better team on the day. You boys are an inspiration for so many back home and abroad. So sad we can’t see you all play in Australia.”

In 2023 and 2024, Cricket Australia had cancelled a planned bilateral series against Afghanistan. The decisions came following restrictions imposed by the ruling Taliban, which did not allow women and girls to access higher education and public property like parks and gyms.

Needing a win to stay alive in the 2024 T20 World Cup, Afghanistan posted a total of 148 in 20 overs. However, the Aussie opening pair of Travis Head and David Warner failed to fire.

It looked that much like the 2023 World Cup clash between the two nations, Glenn Maxwell would take the game away from Afghanistan. However, he was dismissed in the 15th over, with Australia lying at 106-6. 

Gulbadin Naib was the unlikely hero with the ball, picking up four wickets: Maxwell, the in-form Marcus Stoinis, Tim David and Pat Cummins.

Afghanistan bundled out Australia for 127, registering their first win over the Aussies in T20 World Cup history.

If Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in their final Super 8 clash, and Australia lose to India, then Afghanistan will take a spot in the 2024 T20 World Cup semis.

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