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News

Cricket Tasmania say Afghanistan Test will be officially called off this week

CA had said they would be forced to cancel the game due to the Taliban's stance on female sport

AAP
29-Sep-2021
A view across Bellerive Oval, Tasmania vs New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, March 21, 2021

Australia have not played a Test in Hobart since 2016  •  Getty Images

Cricket Australia will formally confirm this week that a one-off Test against Afghanistan is not going ahead, according to Cricket Tasmania.
The match was scheduled to start in Hobart on November 27, providing captain Tim Paine a chance to finally play a Test at his home ground. The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan cast doubt on the Ashes tune-up.
Cricket Australia (CA), rather than wait for the ICC to make a call on Afghanistan's status, made it clear earlier this month that it was poised to axe the Test.
"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test," CA said in a statement on September 9.
Cricket Tasmania (CT) chief executive Dominic Baker confirmed on Wednesday that the Test isn't happening.
"It will be formally postponed indefinitely this week," Baker told radio station Triple M. "It's not acceptable that they don't allow female sport. If they want to play competitive male sport, particularly in the cricket sphere, they're going to have to rethink what they do."
Baker added CA would likely offer some hope to Afghanistan by postponing rather than cancelling the Test altogether.
"We'll give you an opportunity to work on how female cricket becomes a part of your program," he said.
The one-off Test was set to take place in 2020 but postponed because of Covid-19.
CA has already started looking at how best to rejig its schedule, while also negotiating with its counterpart in England regarding the Ashes. England and Australia could potentially play some warm-up games in Tasmania but CA doesn't want to tinker with the five-Test series schedule any more than is needed.
Paine has pitched for Hobart to host an Ashes Test, rather than Sydney. Perth is at great risk of missing out on its Ashes Test, because of Western Australia's strict border rules, but CT would still need to do a lot of work to be part of the high-profile series ahead of other contenders.
An independent arbitrator, asked to help settle a dispute between the Seven Network and CA, declared earlier this year that the sport's free-to-air broadcaster should be given a $3 million discount if the Australia-Afghanistan Test does not take place.