The Taliban has surprisingly given the Afghanistan cricket team the go-ahead to play a historic first cricket test match in Australia - with the new regime even inviting Aussie players to Kabul.

Cricket is one of Afghanistan's most popular sports as players from the national team compete in matches across the world. Slated to begin on Nov. 27 in Tasmania, Australia, the fate of the test has hung in the balance because of the chaos that unfolded in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover in mid-August.

SBS Pashto reported that Ahmadullah Wasiq, Deputy Head of the Taliban's Cultural Commission, indicated to the Australian government that any matches already scheduled could go ahead as planned and that the group fully supports the test.

He added that sports will be permitted but any involvement should be conducted in a manner that is not “un-Islamic” and against Afghan cultural values. "In the future, we want good relations with all countries,” he added. “When good relations are established, Afghan players can go [to Australia] and they can come here…” Wasiq said.

The match was originally planned for December 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. As fears mounted that the new date would also be scrapped, the fixture has remained on the Cricket Australia (CA) calendar.

Daily Mail confirmed that the Aussies planned to go ahead with the test match in Hobart - despite the turmoil in Afghanistan after the collapse of the western-backed government. “Cricket Australia's planning for the historic first Test match between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart is well underway,” CA’s spokesperson said.

“There is goodwill between CA and the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make the match happen, which immediately follows the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE in which the Afghanistan team is due to play," the spokesperson added.

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan's star bowler, spoke for many terrified locals when he pleaded for global help in a tweet, which has since gone viral.

He appealed to his legions of social media followers, “My country is in chaos, thousands of innocent people, including children and women, get martyred every day, houses and properties being destructed.”

“Don't leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans and destroying Afghanistan. We want peace.”

Mohammad Farid Hotak, a spokesman from the Afghanistan Cricket Board, said the country’s men’s team was preparing to take part in the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October, followed by the Test against Australia.

However, the manin problem for Afghanistan's cricketers following the Taliban takeover will be logistically, namely who will pay their salaries and organize local matches as they look to fine-tune their preparations for the tour to Australia.

Rashid Khan with the colours of the Afghanistan flag painted on his face
Rockets bowler Rashid Khan with the colours of the Afghanistan flag painted on his face shares a joke with Brave batsman Alex Davies during the Eliminator match of The Hundred between Southern Brave Men and Trent Rockets Men at The Kia Oval on August 20, 2021 in London, England. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

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