Australia postpones its first Afghanistan cricket test match ever | Cricket news

The decision follows the Taliban’s de facto ban on Afghan women playing cricket or any other sport.

Australia has postponed a first cricket test match against Afghanistan ever due to fears that the Taliban group has banned women from playing the sport.

Cricket authorities said on Friday that they had decided that the preliminary test match for men to be played in the Australian city of Hobart this month would not proceed as planned.

Senior Australian cricketers have indicated they would like to see the matches canceled if the de facto ban on women’s cricket remains in place.

In a statement, Cricket Australia said it was “committed to supporting the development of the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world”.

“Given the current uncertainty (Cricket Australia) felt it necessary to postpone the test match to a later stage when the situation is clearer.”

It said it was looking forward to “hosting both Afghanistan’s women’s and men’s teams in the not too distant future”.

The loss of the Afghan test scheduled for November 27 creates a void in Australia’s Ashes build-up, which will be filled by an “internal three-day match opportunity” between the extended team from December 1 in Brisbane.

“The squad will be selected and announced in mid-November,” said Cricket Australia, adding that England would also play a three-day warm-up match against the England Lions.

The decision followed a report by Australian broadcaster SBS, which quoted a Taliban official as saying that cricket was “not necessary” for women.

Australian Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said at the time that the Taliban’s position was “deeply worrying”.

Afghanistan’s all-rounder and T20I captain Mohammed Nabi said he hoped the two countries could still work together to develop Afghan cricket.

“It is disappointing that the test match is not continuing this year, but I am glad that the match has only been postponed and not canceled,” Nabi said.

Afghanistan’s men are currently playing in the T20 World Cup, but have been warned that they face an international exclusion if the country fails to compete in the upcoming World Cup for women in New Zealand.

Afghan players are expected to be allowed to play in the upcoming Big Bash League season in Australia.

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