Afghanistan set to play a Test in Australia in December 2020
Afghanistan are all set to create more history in 2020 as they will play a one-off Test against Australia from December 7 to December 11 in Perth. The one-off Test match will not be part of the ICC World Test Championships as Afghanistan are not in the top nine nations. The ICC World Test Championship excludes the likes of Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. This will be the fifth team that Afghanistan plays a Test against. They lost their first game to India in just two days and also against the West Indies but they have notched up impressive wins against Ireland and historically, in Bangladesh as well.
The one-off Test against Afghanistan will be Australia’s first international assignment of the home summer after the ICC World T20 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In place of the ICC World T20, IPL 2020 will take place in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. Initially, the plan for Australia was to host Afghanistan for a Test match from November 21 to 25 at the new Perth stadium but the coronavirus pandemic forced a total rescheduling.
Australia is seeing a second spurt of the coronavirus pandemic, with Melbourne being the epicenter. It is believed that Cricket Australia are in close talks with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), with Afghanistan officials wanting to play a couple of practice games. With Australia imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for teams that enter the country, the logistics presented will be a challenge.
The Afghanistan Test will be seen as a potential practice game for the Aussies against India. Cricket Australia and the BCCI are already in talks in organizing a full tour of three T20Is, three ODIs and four Tests from December to January. However, due to the coronavirus and with Indian players flying directly to Australia from the IPL in the UAE on November 10, the chances of the tour starting on December 3 is looking dodgy.
It is reported that the India series might begin with the Twenty20 Internationals and the ODIs before moving on to the Tests. Due to the COVID situation, the teams might just play in a limited set of venues.