The Afghanistan cricket team has obtained a green signal from the Taliban to go ahead with their proposed tour of Australia in which they are scheduled to play a historic first-ever Test match against the Kangaroos. Afghanistan Cricket Board confirmed the development.
The Test match will be Afghanistan’s first that they will play since the Taliban’s takeover earlier this month. Cricket Australia has also claimed that the match was “well underway”. The Taliban have said they will not interfere with the Afghan men’s national cricket team, which has been the country’s biggest sporting success story. Even star spinner Rashid Khan had told SEN radio that there’d been no indication that the change of regime would have a negative impact on the national men’s side.
Goodwill Between CA And The Afghanistan Cricket Board Will Make The Match Happen: CA Spokesperson
Cricket Australia is confident that the Test match will take place as scheduled. The match is scheduled to be played from November 27 in Hobart.
“Cricket Australia’s planning for the historic first Test match between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart is well underway. There is goodwill between CA and the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make the match happen, which immediately follows the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE in which the Afghanistan team is due to play. CA will continue to work with the Australian and Tasmanian governments ahead of the Afghanistan team’s arrival planned for later this year,” the spokesperson said.
Australian broadcaster SBS reported on Tuesday the Taliban would honor Afghanistan’s scheduled cricket matches. However, the Islamist organization which took over the governance of Afghanistan on August 15, said that suggested tours might depend on relations with other countries.
“In the future, we want good relations with all countries. When good relations are established, Afghan players can go (to Australia) and they can come here,” Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission said.
Last week, Afghanistan’s planned series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka was deferred due to travel difficulties, with no commercial flights currently coming in or out of Kabul’s international airport.
One area that remains ambiguous is the future of women’s cricket under ACB, which currently has 25 contracted female cricketers and several programs for girls. The Taliban have said they will respect women’s rights under Islamic law, but they have not given any clear indication of how they will treat women’s sports.