Reluctant Tasmanian govt to consult Afghan locals on hosting Test

The future of the one-off Test between Australia and Afghanistan, to be played between November 27 and December 1, hangs in balance as the state of Tasmania, where it is due to be hosted, is yet to decide on whether it is ethical to host the game.

The match is scheduled to take place in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital, which hasn’t hosted a Test since 2016.

The state government, however, is concerned with the status of women’s cricket in Afghanistan and hence the reluctance.

“I have very real concerns as to whether or not the state should hold that match without some very clear commitments being made around it, in terms of the future of women’s sport,” Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said in a Budget Estimates hearing on Monday.

Gutwein said that he will communicate with the local Afghan Hazara community — which is settled in Hobart.

“What I intend to do, in terms of that match going ahead, is reach out to the Hazara community later this week and have a chat with the local communities here to get a sense as to their view.

“We’ll be seeking to engage with the Australian Cricket Board (Cricket Australia) and I want to get the feedback from our local community as well,” Gutwein added.

“If our local community felt that it would be sensible and perhaps confidence-building to allow that match to go ahead then obviously that’s a different matter. But I think we need to get some advice.”