Taliban Approve Afghanistan’s First Cricket Test
The Taliban have approved Afghanistan’s first cricket Test since taking power, raising hopes that international matches will resume as normal under the Islamists’ rule.
“We have received approval to send the team to Australia,” Hamid Shinwari, the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s chief executive, told AFP. Before being overthrown in 2001, the Taliban outlawed most forms of entertainment, including many sports, and stadiums were used as public execution sites. Hardline Islamists, on the other hand, don’t mind cricket, and many fighters enjoy it.
After seizing Kabul last month, they have also promised to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time. The Test match, which will take place in Hobart from November 27 to December 1, was originally set to take place last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions.
It will be Afghanistan’s first time playing a Test match in Australia. The Afghanistan team will compete in the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 17 to November 15.
Hamid Shinwari, chief executive officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board
According to Hamid Shinwari, chief executive officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), there is also the possibility of the team visiting India for a Test series next year.
“The Taliban government has been supporting cricket and all our cricket will be held as per schedule. A spokesperson of the Taliban Cultural Commission communicated to us that the Taliban will be supporting the Test match against Australia followed by a Test series against India in the first quarter of 2022,” Shinwari said.
Shinwari also confirmed that Afghanistan’s Under-19 cricket team will visit Bangladesh later this month for a bilateral series. There have been fears that cricket and other sports will be harmed since the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept into Kabul last month.
Officials from the ACB, on the other hand, have stated unequivocally that the Taliban support cricket. The home ODI series against Pakistan, which had been shifted to Sri Lanka, was postponed until next year last week due to logistical and Covid-19 issues.