The historic Australia-Afghanistan Test has been indefinitely postponed. The match was set to be played in November this year in Hobart. Dark clouds were looming over the match ever since Taliban imposed a ban on women’s cricket in their country.
Cricket Australia (CA) have always been supportive of female cricket thus the Taliban’s move of barring women from playing cricket didn’t go well with the board, who took a stern stance and said they won’t entertain the men’s Afghan team as well if the women’s team is banned. The same has been confirmed now. Cricket Tasmania boss Dominic Baker said Australia won’t host Afghanistan unless the ban on women's cricket is uplifted.
“It’ll be formally postponed indefinitely this week. That will come out in the next couple of days,” Baker said.
“It’s about giving the Afghanistan government some direction around what they have to do to get back into sport.
“It’s not acceptable that they don’t allow female sport. If they want to play competitive male sport, particularly in the cricket sphere, they have to rethink what they do with female sport, ” said Baker to Triple M Hobart.
The Test, however, is not cancelled and can be played later if Taliban has a change in mind and allow the women’s team to play cricket. “We’re not going to cancel it altogether,” he said.
Australia have also hinted they may walk out of the match against Afghanistan in T20 World Cup. Afghanistan is placed alongside India, Pakistan, New Zealand and two more qualifier teams in Group B.
Given that only two teams will move through the next round, Afghanistan-Australia might not face each other in the T20 World Cup. But conditions can suit Afghanistan and they may pull off a surprise. It will be interesting to see Australia’s stance against Afghanistan in knockout game.