The men’s Afghan cricket team must wait to play its historic Test match against Australia, after Cricket Australia (CA) postponed this month’s fixture indefinitely.
Australia, a powerhouse of the sport, has never played a Test against Afghanistan despite the International Cricket Council granting Test match status to Afghanistan in 2017.
In September, CA warned that the match, which was due to be hosted in Hobart on November 27, could not go ahead if the Taliban banned women from playing the sport.
“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 governing body said in a statement.
CA welcomed the inclusion of individual Afghan players in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 cricket competition set for the southern hemisphere summer.
“CA looks forward to hosting Afghanistan players in the BBL [Big Bash League] this season, who are great ambassadors for the game, and to hosting both the Afghanistan women’s and men’s team in the not too distant future,” it added.
In November 2020, the Afghanistan Cricket Board announced it had awarded 25 female cricket contracts.
However, following the Taliban takeover of the country, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq told Australia’s SBS News that Afghan women should not play cricket and other sports in which they would be “exposed.”
The International Cricket Council requires its 12 full members – which includes Afghanistan – to have a national women’s team.