The expected cancellation of Australia's Test match against Afghanistan will force a major reshaping of Canberra's cricketing summer, requiring a new Prime Minister's XI fixture to be organised.
Afghanistan had been due to take on the Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval in December after the nation's historic Test against Australia in Hobart, but Cricket Australia's decision to scrap that match would likely also flow on to the PM's XI fixture.
A rearranged match against New Zealand or Sri Lanka, most likely pushed back to February, is now on the cards for Canberra. It would be the first Prime Minister's XI match in two years, after the annual fixture was scrapped last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cricket Australia officials hadn't yet announced the pre-Christmas PM's XI clash against Afghanistan, but the troubled Asian nation had been earmarked to make its first appearance in the Canberra fixture.
Canberra's Afghan diaspora had been expected to turn out in droves to this summer's Prime Minister's XI, COVID regulations permitting.
Australia is scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against New Zealand starting in late January, plus a T20 international on February 8 scheduled for Manuka Oval.
Sri Lanka will then tour Australia for five T20 internationals. A PM's XI fixture nestled between those two series against one of those countries looks the most likely option for the rescheduled match.
The Taliban has declared its opposition to women playing cricket, in the wake of recently regaining power in Afghanistan earlier this month.
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Earlier this week Cricket Australia released a statement saying it would be unwilling to proceed with the first ever Test against Afghanistan if the Taliban harboured such views on the women's game.
"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart," the statement said.
"Driving the growth of women's cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia.
"Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level.
"We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue."
Meanwhile, star Afghanistan all rounder and Adelaide Strikers cult figure Rashid Khan has stepped down as captain of the country's T20 side.
The 22-year-old quit his post after not being consulted about selection of the country's 18-man T20 World Cup squad, for next month's tournament.