Dark clouds have been looming on Afghanistan cricket ever since the Taliban took over the reins of the country. A Taliban spokesperson, speaking on the cricketing matters of the country, gave the upcoming Test encounter with Australia the nod while also giving the proposed India series the green flag.
Hamid Shinwari, the chief executive officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), confirmed to Indian Express that there is a good possibility of the team visiting India for a Test series early next year.
“The Taliban government has been supporting cricket and all our cricket will be held as per schedule. A spokesperson of the Taliban Cultural Commission communicated to us that the Taliban will be supporting the Test match against Australia followed by a Test series against India in the first quarter of 2022,” Shinwari said.
Afghanistan were also set to take on Pakistan in a bilateral series in the coming weeks before the T20 World Cup 2021 in October-November. However, the Pakistan assignment was suspended in the wake of the Taliban situation. Later, the Afghans are scheduled to play Australia at Hobart from November 27 and December 1.
Cricket, as well as other sporting activities in Afghanistan, have been under a big question mark since the Taliban takeover. Though it has been reported that the Taliban is in favour of men’s cricket being continued in the country. Not much clarity is available over women’s cricket.
The Afghanistan national men’s cricket team came into being after the Taliban rule ended in the country in 2001. In 2020, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) gave central contracts to 25 women cricketers but as of now, it isn’t clear whether women’s cricket will be allowed in the country or not.
“They (Taliban) are supporting cricket and we have got the green signal from them. It’s a clear message to the youth that they will support sports. That is the best sign,” Shinwari said.
When asked about the future of women’s cricket, Shinwari said: “We don’t know at the moment. The government will decide on it.”