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(AFP): The Taliban on Tuesday approved Afghanistan’s first cricket Test since their takeover of Kabul, raising hopes that international matches will continue as usual under the new rule.
Talking to an international news agency, chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Hamid Shinwari said, “We have got approval to send the team to Australia.” He also confirmed Afghanistan’s Under-19 cricket team will tour Bangladesh for a bilateral later this month.
During their first stint in power, before they were ousted in 2001, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment — including many sports. The Taliban do not mind cricket, however, and the game is popular among many fighters.
They have also promised to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time, after seizing the capital Kabul last month.
The Test match, to be played in Hobart from November 27-December 1, was scheduled for last year but was put off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions. It will be Afghanistan’s first Test in Australia.
Before the Australia tour, the Afghanistan team will feature in the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 17-November 15.
Afghanistan’s home ODI series against Pakistan — shifted to Sri Lanka — was however cancelled until next year over logistical and Covid-19 issues last week.