Australia's Test against Afghanistan 'likely to be postponed'

Cricket Australia assessing 'situation on the ground' following Taliban takeover

Afghanistan celebrate after Rashid Khan dismissed Zimbabwe's Tarisai Musakanda. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Cricket

Australia's historic first Test against Afghanistan is likely to be postponed until the Taliban's impact over sport in the country is properly assessed, Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

The match has been under threat since CA last month said it would postpone the game in Hobart, slated to start November 27, if the Taliban government which took power in August did not allow women and girls to play cricket.

"It's likely that we will postpone until a point of time where there is more clarity and that's following consultation with the Australian government," Hockley told the ABC.

"The work we've been doing is to understand the current situation on the ground.

"We made our position very, very clear off the back of some earlier comments around, potentially, cricket as a sport for women and girls not being supported in Afghanistan."

Afghanistan are set to take part in the upcoming T20 World Cup next week in UAE and Oman, with governing body the ICC saying their participation was not in doubt despite the political situation in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, Hockley also said he was confident negotiations with the Western Australia government would be successful and that the fifth Ashes Test will go ahead as scheduled in Perth next January.

The tourists conditionally agreed to proceed with the tour late last week after Hockley held two video conference meetings with the England players to ease their fears about overly strict biosecurity protocols.

Western Australia has employed strict border controls to keep Covid-19 out of the state and if the government stuck to its rules, the England squad would have to quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Perth from the fourth Test in Sydney.

Hockley thought the state would be prepared to relax the quarantine requirements and allow the England players to play the Perth Test in a bio-secure bubble with some freedoms.

"We would desperately like to play the fifth Test in Perth. It's absolutely our intention to do so," he added.

"Those discussions are going on right as we speak. That will be our focus over the next couple of months."

The Ashes series starts in Brisbane on December 8.

Updated: October 11th 2021, 8:31 AM
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