Australia and Afghanistan will clash in their first-ever clash in Test cricket later this year when the former hosts the Asian cricketing nation in Hobart. The Bellerive Oval will host the first Test of Australia’s home summer, followed by the high-voltage Ashes series, comprising of five Tests. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley stated he remains excited to welcome Afghanistan to their shores.
While Australia have established itself as a cricketing powerhouse, Afghanistan earned their Test status in 2018. Afghanistan lost their first Test match to India comprehensively; however, they have defeated the likes of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Ireland in the six Tests they have played. In their most recent Test, the Afghans beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in a run-scoring fest. Australia could have hosted them last year if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nick Hockley said that they are keen to host Afghanistan for a historic Test against Australia, claiming that their story is quite inspirational in international sport. Hockley feels that their record of three out of six victories in Tests proves Afghanistan belong at this level.
“We’re also incredibly excited to welcome Afghanistan to our shores for a historic first Test match against Australia. The story of the Afghanistan cricket team is one of the most uplifting in international sport and their record of three wins from six Tests prove they truly belong at this level,” Hockley stated as quoted by Times Of India.
Nick Hockley keen to welcome the England supporters for the Ashes:
The Barmy Army, which is often considered as the 12th man for the England team, might not be present this year for the Ashes down under due to the COVID-19 threat. Nick Hockley remarked that in a world without the pandemic, they would welcome them; however, he expects the government to lay down the guidelines for international travel soon.
“In a perfect world, we would welcome the Barmy Army back to these shores for a summer of singing and sportsmanship. Of course, we will be guided by the Australian government on all things related to international travel,” he added.