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'So sad we can't see you all play in Australia': Khawaja hits back at CA after Afghanistan win

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Australia Test opener Usman Khawaja opposed Cricket Australia decision not to play bilateral series against Afghanistan after Rashid Khan-led side defeated Australia by 21-run in the Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

"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 posted on X.

The CA has refused to play against Afghanistan on multiple occasions since the Taliban's takeover of the country in September 2021. The Australian cricket body strongly opposed the Taliban's move to restrict women's participation in sports. Australia had cancelled a one-off Test match against Afghanistan as well as a three-match ODI series that was scheduled to take place in the United Arab Emirates in 2023. Most recently, CA postponed a three-match T20 series indefinitely that was originally slated for August.

Despite Pat Cummins' second consecutive hat-trick, Afghanistan managed to post 148/6 after being asked to bat first on a challenging pitch at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent.

Opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran formed Afghanistan's highest opening partnership against Australia in a T20 match, scoring 118 runs together. Australia's bowlers regrouped late in the innings, highlighted by Cummins' second career hat-trick, which followed his recent achievement just two days prior.

Australia faced difficulties with the bat and were eventually bundled out for 127 runs. Glenn Maxwell was the standout performer, scoring 59 runs off 41 balls, effectively tackling Afghanistan's strong bowling attack on the turning conditions but failed to recreate his ODI World Cup heroics.

After their win over Australia, Afghanistan are in contention for a semifinal berth. They will next take on Bangladesh on June 25.

--IANS

ab/


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