The Taliban have approved Afghanistan’s first cricket Test since their takeover, raising hopes that international matches will continue as usual under the new rule.
“We have got approval to send the team to
Australia,” chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Hamid
Shinwari told AFP.
During their first stint in power, before they
were ousted in 2001, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment — including
many sports — and stadiums were used as public execution venues.
The Taliban do not mind cricket, however, and
the game is popular among many fighters.
They have also promised to enforce a less
strict version of Islamic law this time, after seizing the capital Kabul last
The Test match, to be played in Hobart from
November 27-December 1, was scheduled for last year but was put off due to the
Covid-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions.
It will be Afghanistan’s first Test in
Before the Australia tour, the Afghanistan
team will feature in the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held in the United Arab
Emirates from October 17-November 15.
Shinwari also confirmed Afghanistan’s Under-19
cricket team will tour Bangladesh for a bi-lateral later this month.
Since the evacuation of the US and NATO forces
from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept into Kabul last month there were fears
that cricket and other sports would be hit.
But ACB officials categorically said that
cricket was supported by the Taliban.
Afghanistan’s home ODI series against Pakistan
— shifted to Sri Lanka — was however
cancelled until next year over logistical and Covid-19 issues last week.