The Afghanistan Cricket team would have touched a new high later this year after their set of exploits in international cricket since debut. The national team will travel down under to play the enigmatic Australian cricket team in a one-off Test at the Optus Stadium in Perth. It will commence on the 21st of November.
The news confirmation of the number one Test side hosting Afghanistan came as a big relief then eventually an excitement for them. Uncertainty lingered over their historic Test match due to the travel restrictions imposed to curb the Coronavirus spread. Nevertheless, Cricket Australia announced their schedule for the summer that also includes a high-voltage rubber against India.
Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Lutfullah Stanikzai told Reuters that they had a feeling the match may not take place due to the unprecedented public health situation. But confirmation has come as a point of comfort for them. He understands that the sport may never remain the same after the pandemic; however, it has to resume.
“There were rumours that this test match might not go ahead but it is a relief for us and our cricket fans that we have been given a confirmation. The world in general and the cricketing world in particular may not be the same after the coronavirus but we have to move on and cricket has to return.”
“Everyone in the cricket world, especially in test cricket, looks up to Australia”: Afghanistan Cricket chief
As much as evident it is, Stanikzai underlined the incredible opportunity their players have received. He conceded that every nation looks up to Australia in Test cricket and it is a substantial milestone for them to be able to play against Australia in a red-ball game.
“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for our players’ development and in general for the development of Afghanistan cricket. Everyone in the cricket world, especially in test cricket, looks up to Australia. It’s going to be a historic and memorable occasion for Afghanistan as a new cricketing nation to play Australia in a test match.”
Having acquired their Test status in 2017, they played their first Test in 2018 against India in a losing effort. They played their next three against Ireland, Bangladesh, and West Indies. They beat Ireland and Bangladesh by seven wickets and 224 runs respectively before losing to the Caribbeans in their most recent fixture.