KABUL: The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has called Australia’s decision to withdraw from their bilateral series in March “pathetic”, and said it would write to the ICC over the issue. The ACB came down heavily on CA on Thursday, saying the Australian board was “prioritising political interests over the principles of fair play and sportsmanship”, and “undermining the integrity of the game and damaging the relationship between the two nations”. Earlier on Thursday, CA had announced its decision to withdraw the Australian men’s team from a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in the UAE following consultation with the Australian government. The reason given was a recent announcement from the Taliban — which governs Afghanistan — that it was banning university education for girls, a development that ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had described as concerning. The ACB said in its response that it would now “rethink the participation of Afghan players in the Big Bash League (BBL)” if CA did not overturn its decision. The ACB’s statement, however, did not make a specific mention of the future of women’s cricket in Afghanistan. This is the second time in two years that CA have cancelled a bilateral fixture with Afghanistan due to the Taliban government’s policies on women following the postponement of the one-off Test that was scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021. Australia did play Afghanistan in Adelaide during the recent T20 World Cup. They are slated to meet Afghanistan twice more in the next Future Tours cycle, with three T20Is scheduled at a neutral venue in August 2024, and Afghanistan due to tour Australia in August 2026 to play one Test and three T20Is.