The Taliban have surprisingly given the Afghan cricket team the go-ahead for a historic first test in Australia – with the new regime even inviting Australian players to Kabul.
The deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, informed the Australian government that all scheduled matches could go ahead as planned.
A statement from Cricket Australia to the Daily Mail Australia confirmed that the Aussies intended to go ahead with the Hobart test match – despite the unrest in Afghanistan following the collapse of the western-backed government.
“Cricket Australia’s planning for the historic first test match between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart is in full swing.”
Australia was set to play a rapidly improving Afghanistan on Nov. 27 to launch the summer of cricket Down Under – but events surrounding the Taliban takeover seem to indicate the match was likely to go ahead.
Cricket Australia plans to go ahead with plans to host the Afghan test cricket team in Hobart in November after the Taliban green-lit the tour – despite the collapse of democracy in the Central Asian nation. Pictured: Skipper Tim Paine of Baggy Greens
World cricket superstar Rashid Khan (pictured right) fears for Afghanistan’s future after Taliban takeover
Star cricketer Rashid Khan’s tweet asking world leaders to help the people of Afghanistan
Mr Wasid told SBS Pashto service that already matches in the calendar ‘will continue without interruption, and [the Afghan team] can play with other international teams’.
“There is goodwill between CA and the Afghanistan Cricket Board to facilitate the match, which immediately follows the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE in which the Afghan team will play,” the statement from Cricket Australia confirmed.
“CA will continue to work with the Australian and Tasmanian governments in the run-up to the arrival of the Afghan team scheduled for later this year.”
In a familiar refrain repeated elsewhere, Mr Wasid said the Taliban wanted “good relations” with all nations – adding that the Baggy Greens were welcome to tour.
‘If there are good relations, Afghan players can go’ [to Australia] and they can come here,” Mr. Wasid said.
The landmark Australia-Afghanistan test match in Hobart in November is likely to continue despite chaos in the Central Asian nation (pictured, Pat Cummins celebrates a wicket last January)
The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has plunged the nation into chaos (photo, Taliban fighters in Kabul)
Afghan pin-up boy Rashid Khan, known in Australia for his electric performances in the T20 Big Bash League in recent years, spoke for many terrified locals as he called for global aid in a tweet, which has since gone viral.
“Dear world leaders,” Khan, considered by many to be the best T20 bowler in the world, wrote to his legions of social media followers.
My country is in chaos, thousands of innocent people, including children and women, are tortured every day, houses and property are destroyed.
“Don’t leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans and destroying Afghanistan. We want peace.’
Cricket Australia has previously made a sympathetic statement about the chaos in Afghanistan.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan, our friends at the Afghanistan Cricket Board and the Afghanistan team during these challenging times,” a CA spokesperson said.
When the Taliban last took over Afghanistan, cricket was banned because it prevented men from praying religiously, according to the courier post.
In notable scenes, some rogue troops began to defiantly play their favorite sport — sometimes in the snow outside the capital, Kabul.
The problem for Afghanistan’s home-based cricketers after the takeover will be logistics, namely who will pay their salaries and organize local competitions to fine-tune their preparations for the tour to Australia.
The Taliban have taken Afghanistan by force for the first time in 20 years, with dozens of locals fearing for their lives (pictured, a Taliban fighter in the capital, Kabul)
Unfortunately, it all seems to be a pipe dream now, as a lack of government rule means that chaos is destined to rule.
In recent days, the Taliban have dramatically recaptured the Afghan capital, Kabul, after 20 years of exile.
Defense Secretary Peter Dutton confirmed on Tuesday morning that Australia will not send planes to Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, as it is engulfed in chaos as people try to flee the Taliban.
Dramatic videos have surfaced of people swarming from Kabul airport trying to get on military evacuation flights.
Footage shows people clinging to planes taking off, and some saw their deaths.