Khawaja controversially defies CA's stance as he congratulates Afghanistan: 'Sad we can't see you play in Australia' | Crickit
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Khawaja controversially defies CA's stance as he congratulates Afghanistan: 'Sad we can't see you play in Australia'

Jun 23, 2024 04:13 PM IST

Usman Khawaja admitted that Afghanistan were a better team on Sunday and didn't shy away from expressing his disappointment over CA's past decision.

Veteran Australia opener Usman Khawaja displayed great sportsmanship by praising Afghanistan after they beat Mitchell Marsh and Co. in the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup. The Afghan side registered the biggest win in their cricket history, but calling it an upset would undervalue their efforts over the years. They played quality cricket on Sunday and held their nerves against one of the best white-ball teams and cricket giants Australia to stay alive in the semi-final contention.

Afghanistan registered their first-ever win over Australia in international cricket.(AP)
Afghanistan registered their first-ever win over Australia in international cricket.(AP)

Khawaja admitted that Rashid Khan and Co. were a better team on Sunday and didn't shy away from expressing his disappointment over Cricket Australia's past decision to cancel international matches against Afghanistan.

"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," Khawaja wrote on X while retweeting Rashid Khan's post.

The CA has declined to play Afghanistan thrice in recent times since the Taliban seized control of the Asian nation in September 2021. The Australian cricket governing body condemned their decision to place restrictions on female participation in sport.

Also Read | How India can knock Australia out and qualify for T20 World Cup semifinal after Afghanistan's win: Check all scenarios

Afghanistan women's team were disbanded and several members fled the country after the country's Taliban takeover in 2021.

Australia also cancelled a one-off test against Afghanistan in Hobart the same year. In 2023, CA withdrew from a three-match ODI series to be played in the UAE, while, they declined to play them the third time earlier this year as a three-match T20 series against Afghanistan was scheduled for August, but it was indefinitely postponed.

However, despite all the political tensions, Afghanistan displayed a spirited show and took revenge for the heartbreaking ODI World Cup 2023 defeat to Australia. The Afghan players learnt from the mistakes they committed in the ODI WC and produced a clinical performance with the ball to outclass Australia.

Afghanistan bowlers read the pitch well and used the slower ones well to trump the Australian batters on the tricky surface and defended their total of 148 for six for their first-ever win over Australia in international cricket.

The mighty Aussies crumbled under pressure and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Glenn Maxwell scored a fighting fifty but he failed to replicate the heroics of 2023 WC as Australia were all out for 127 in 19.2 overs in the Super Eight contest. The defeat has put them on the brink of elimination as the Aussies now have to win their next match against title favourites India on Monday and then rely on the results of the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh clash.

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