Cricket

Relieved Afghanistan looking forward to Australia Test, says CEO Lutfullah Stanikzai

Relief and excitement are the overwhelming emotions for Afghanistan after Australia confirmed they would host them for a one-off Test in Perth from 21 November, the chief executive of the country’s cricket board has told Reuters.

Relieved Afghanistan looking forward to Australia Test, says CEO Lutfullah Stanikzai

Relief and excitement are the overwhelming emotions for Afghanistan after Australia confirmed they would host them for a one-off Test in Perth from 21 November, the chief executive of the country’s cricket board has told Reuters.

Uncertainty loomed over Afghanistan’s first-ever Test against Australia due to travel and other restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

File image of Afghanistan cricket team. Reuters

File image of Afghanistan cricket team. Reuters

However, Cricket Australia gave the day-night match the green light on Thursday when it announced its summer schedule headlined by a marquee series against India.

“There were rumours that this Test match might not go ahead but it is a relief for us and our cricket fans that we have been given a confirmation,” Chief Executive Lutfullah Stanikzai told Reuters in an interview.

“The world in general – and the cricketing world in particular – may not be the same after the coronavirus but we have to move on and cricket has to return.”

Having had to postpone a tour of Zimbabwe next month due to travel restrictions, the importance of the match against the world’s top ranked Test team was not lost on the Afghan board.

“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for our players’ development and in general for the development of Afghanistan cricket,” Stanikzai said.

“Everyone in the cricket world, especially in Test cricket, looks up to Australia. It’s going to be a historic and memorable occasion for Afghanistan as a new cricketing nation to play Australia in a Test match.”

The Test newcomers, who were awarded the coveted red-ball status in 2017, will not be completely unknown quantities to Australian cricket fans.

Players such as Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have become fan-favourites in Australia’s Big Bash League with their fearless hitting and economical spin-bowling.

While there may still be restrictions that affect how many fans, if any, can watch the Test at the 60,000-seater Perth Stadium, Stanikzai said it was important to see the big picture.

“The important thing is that the fans get an opportunity to see Afghanistan playing against Australia. Although it might be different, there might not be any spectators and so on ...

“We are hoping that by November the situation will improve and we will see good cricket between both countries.”

Afghanistan have played four Tests to date, losing to India and West Indies and beating Ireland and Bangladesh.

Updated Date: May 29, 2020 13:19:53 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Antibodies that may lead to next-gen vaccines for all COVID-19 strains found
India

Antibodies that may lead to next-gen vaccines for all COVID-19 strains found

The results show that certain animals are more able to make these types of 'pan-SARS virus' antibodies than humans, giving scientists clues as to how to make better vaccines

COVID-19 spike in Delhi: National capital records over 19,760 cases from 1-10 August, sees 50% rise in containment zones
India

COVID-19 spike in Delhi: National capital records over 19,760 cases from 1-10 August, sees 50% rise in containment zones

National capital Delhi has recorded 40 deaths due to COVID-19 from 1-10 August, nearly thrice the cumulative figures registered in the last 10 days of July when 14 people had succumbed to the viral disease

COVID-19: Experts warn about high risk of  transmission during festivals
India

COVID-19: Experts warn about high risk of  transmission during festivals

Amid a rise in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country, the central government has asked Delhi and six states to ensure adequate testing, promote Covid-appropriate behaviour and increase the pace of vaccination to contain the surge