"Why you want me to play in your country?" - Rashid Khan to rethink his BBL stint as CA postpones T20I series against Afghanistan

BBL - Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes
Rashid Khan and Jason Gillespie. (Credits: Getty)

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has called Cricket Australia out for repeatedly postponing the men's bilateral series between the two nations. With the apex body of cricket Down Under recently postponing the T20I series scheduled for August, the youngster suggested he might be reconsidering his participation in the Big Bash League (BBL).

CA postponed the T20I series against Afghanistan at a neutral venue, citing the restriction of human rights in the case of women and girls in the Taliban-ruled nation. This is the third time that CA has done it. They called off the one-off Test in Hobart in 2021, followed by an ODI series scheduled for March 2023.

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Rashid, who represents the Adelaide Strikers, said playing in the BBL moving forward would mean putting down his teammates and country. The 25-year-old declared that country comes before money. Rashid Khan said:

"Lots of things come in the mind. Like, if you don't want to play against my team, then why you want me to play in your country? Because I'm not allowed then in your country as well to play cricket. You don't want to play with my colleagues and you want to play with me? So what's the difference?"
"It means I'm putting my colleagues down as well. My country down as well. So if I'm playing there, if money in these things comes, nothing is bigger than my country. Money will just go and come. That's not the point."

The leggie has been one of the top bowlers in the BBL since joining the league in 2017. In 69 matches, he has picked up 98 wickets at an average of 17.51 and an economy rate of 6.44.

"You do want to play against the best teams" - Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan appeals. (Credits: Getty)
Rashid Khan appeals. (Credits: Getty)

Emphasizing the importance of playing against big teams to gain confidence, Rashid Khan cited an example of how Afghanistan almost chased down 212 in a T20I against India earlier this year. He said:

"It does hurt you. You do want to play against the best teams and that's where your cricket is going to improve more and more. You only get the opportunity playing against them [Australia] in the World Cups, but not in bilateral series. Recently, we played three T20s against India, and it helped us a lot. We nearly chased 200 [212] against India. Imagine if you wouldn't have played that, where would the confidence come from? Playing against big teams is huge for us."

Afghanistan also came close to beating Australia in the last two ICC events.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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