Afghanistan Cricket Board chief on Friday said that the fans and the board members are relieved after Cricket Australia on Thursday confirmed the one-off Test fixture to be held later this year in Perth on November 21.
The Test match was an uncertain affair given the coronavirus pandemic which has led to travel restrictions Down Under. However, Cricket Australia gave the day-night Test a go-ahead as part of their summer home fixture.
“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.”
ACB are now looking forward to the "historic and memorable" Test match especially after the tour of Zimbabwe slated to begin next month, was cancelled because of the pandemic.
“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.”
Afghanistan have so far played just four Tests since earning the status in 2017. While they lost to India and West Indies, they defeated Ireland and Bangladesh.
“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.”