Tasmania worried about AS-Afg Test in Hobart
By Sangeeta Viswas
on Mon Sep 06 2021
Hobart’s Hazara community in Tasmania will help determine whether the city hosts the men’s cricket test between Australia and Afghanistan.
The first Test involving the two countries, originally slated for 2020 but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to begin on November 27.
The match stands as an important Ashes tune-up for Tim Paine’s class, but also an important fixture for the Tasmanian captain and indeed Cricket Tasmania, who has not played for a Test since 2016.
The Taliban, which has recently completed swift intervention in Afghanistan, has announced that it wants the game to take place. But the question whether it should remain one-sided in the minds of many.
Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwin, speaking at a hearing on state budget estimates on Monday, highlighted “particularly concerning” reports about the future of the women’s sport in Afg.
“I have a very real concern about whether the state should combine that match.” Gutwin said in an essay on the future of the women’s game.
The Hazara community this weekend and interact with the local sections here to understand their view, in terms of that match.
“We will try to engage with the Australian Cricket Board (Cricket Australia) and I would like to get a response from our local community as well.
“If our local community thinks it would be wise and perhaps. A confidence booster to agree to go ahead with that match. But I think we need to get some advice.”
While ruling from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban fatally persecuted thousands of Afghanistan’s third largest ethnic group and a religious minority.
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The Taliban have vowed to be more liberal and participatory since retaking power. But human rights organization Amnesty International says nine Hazara men clashed in July.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief caretaker Hamid Shinwari recently told ESPNcricinfo that “negotiations are on with Cricket Australia (CA) … the team is going there”.
Shinwari also said that CA and ACB are in talks with regards to a T20 tri-series on neutral turf in October. As match practice for the World Cup.
CA has repeatedly clarified in recent weeks that it is making an appointment to advance the Australia-Afghanistan Test. But with domestic and international schedules for this summer clouded by the COVID-19 and border closures. The cards after the women’s Australia-India series was moved to Queensland.