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Taliban approve Afghanistan's first cricket Test since takeover

AFP/Kabul
Filed on September 1, 2021
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (right) takes a selfie with fans during the third day of the only Test match between Afghanistan and West Indies in Lucknow, India, on November 29, 2019. (AFP file)

The militants do not mind cricket, however, and the game is popular among many fighters


The Taliban have approved Afghanistan’s first cricket Test since their takeover, raising hopes that international matches will continue as usual under the group.

“We have got approval to send the team to Australia,” chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Hamid Shinwari told AFP.

During their first stint in power, before they were ousted in 2001, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment — including many sports — and stadiums were used as public execution venues.

The militants do not mind cricket, however, and the game is popular among many fighters.

They have also promised to enforce a less strict version of 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 UAE from October 17-November 15.

Shinwari also confirmed Afghanistan’s Under-19 cricket team will tour Bangladesh for a bi-lateral later this month.

Since the evacuation of the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept into Kabul last month there were fears that cricket and other sports would be hit.

But ACB officials categorically said that cricket was supported by the Taliban.

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.





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