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Australia postpones first ever Afghanistan cricket test match

Cricket Australia (CA) has has postponed the Afghanistan test in Hobart scheduled for November 27 until the situation regarding the women’s game in the South Asian nation becomes clearer.

“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, Cricket Australia and the Afghanistan Cricket Board have agreed to postpone the inaugural men’s test match against Afghanistan,” CA said in a statement on Friday.

“CA is committed to support growing the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world, however, given the present uncertainty, CA felt it necessary to postpone the test match until a later time when the situation is clearer,” the statement said. 

CA had said in September it would scrap the test if the Taliban government, which took power in August, did not allow women and girls to play the sport.

Afghanistan’s first cricket match greenlit since Taliban takeover

Australia’s sports minister Richard Colbeck on the other hand said at the time the Taliban’s position was “deeply concerning”.

The threat followed a report by Australian broadcaster SBS which quoted a Taliban representative as saying cricket was “not necessary” for women.

Despite the test postponement, CA said it looked forward to hosting Afghanistan players – “who are great ambassadors for the game” – in Australia’s upcoming domestic T20 competition, the Big Bash League.

The board said it also looked forward to hosting both the Afghan women’s and men’s teams in the “not-too-distant future”.

Afghan cricket swing

Afghanistan’s rise in cricket in recent years has been the sport’s biggest fairytale but the strife-torn nation risks isolation following the country’s Taliban takeover.

Taliban officials have said they will not repeat the harsh rule of their previous government, which banned most girls’ education and forbade women from going out in public without a male guardian.

The Afghan cricket board has requested the support of other full members of the International Cricket Council as it looks to retain its place in global cricket.

Afghanistan’s status is set to be discussed at an ICC meeting on the sidelines of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The Afghan cricket team is the cricket World Cup story we should all follow

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