Afghanistan men's cricket seemingly safe as Australia Test approved by Taliban

Afghanistan

Ollie Phillips

Reports in The Times have stated that Afghanistan's first Test since the Taliban took over has been approved, giving more hope to cricket in the country under the new regime. Huge worries still remain over the nature of the women's game, given an albeit more "modern" Taliban is still likely to repress what is already an underdeveloped area of the sport in Afghanistan.

It was declared by the chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Hamid Shinwari, that the team will be granted permission to travel to Australia and take part in the Test match scheduled for Hobart from November 27. It was supposed to be played last year but was postponed due to COVID-19.

When the Taliban were last in power in the country, before 2001, they banned nearly every form of entertainment, and cricket in the country was ousted. This time around the Islamist extremist group is keen to protect a game that has become so prominent nationwide. The team itself is on the rise, and with stars such as Rashid Khan to shape the future, curtailing them would be an ill-advised move.