In Sept 2022 we invite you to join us when Australia and Afghanistan make cricket history by playing their 1st Test Match*. Though a home match, it is unlikely that this will be played in Afghanistan. Touring Afghanistan will come in time, but until then playing in India (TBC) in 2022 is OK as we will be there anyway!
*Afghanistan was to play Australia in Hobart in Nov 2021 but this was due to Taliban nutjobs taking over Afghanistan, once again.
Although this is a 'one-off' test, it is nonetheless an Australian Test Match, and we treat it with the same importance as any other. Similarly, we create a tour oriented to bringing you together with awesome people at the great game, whilst taking away basic organisational burdens so you can enjoy your time to the max. All you need to do is get yourself to and from India... we think!
Equally disappointing by not playing in Afghanistan, this is only 1 Test. If the ICC expands the Test-playing pool and insists on 2 Test Series, then we should be playing 2 Tests. How will Afghanistan become better, sooner, when only playing 1 Test? Even still, Afghanistan will not be a pushover.
Though they did not perform well in their 1st Test against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi in March 2021, losing inside 2 days, Afghanistan has 7 players listed in the IPL (Indian Premier League) 2021. No one can compare Twenty20 cricket with Test Cricket, but you still need to know which end of the bat to hold to play at the highest level of the T20 game, and obviously, a few Afghanis do know!
They may not have the depth of experience but Afghanistan has displayed a fighting ability that cannot be ignored as we did before Australia's inaugural Test Tour to Bangladesh 2006. Though rain assisted the hosts in the 2nd Test in Chittagong (now Chattogram) where Jason 'Dizzy' Gillespie scored 201 as nightwatchman, Bangladesh took Australia to 5 days in both Tests, which surprised and indeed spoiled our expected '3 Day Test' itinerary.
As such, when Australia faces Afghanistan in the 2nd week of Sept 2022 we will be there with you with anticipation of a 5-Day Test. The match should be played at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, India, a venue listed as a home ground for Afghanistan. We hope it is played there as it will be a new Test Venue, which we all love, and it is in a beautiful region of India where the weather is best suited for playing at that time of year.
Aside from this being an Afghanistan home game, our belief in playing this one-off Test in India is based on the Australian Cricket Tour To India 2022 taking place from the 1st week of October. It makes perfect sense for Australia to arrive in India and stay for the duration of both series but what makes perfect sense for spectators, is far from reality for cricket administrators.
Two problems with this, 1; the Asia Cup is being played in Pakistan between Australia's Test Matches with Afghanistan and India, so Australia will have two weeks of training and adapting. This in itself is not a problem but 2; will the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agree to Australia spending any more time learning Indian conditions than they have to before India defend the Border Gavaskar Trophy?
In our perfect cricket world, Australia would play Afghanistan in the last week of Sept. before the India series and we can host a '5 Test Match Tour to India'. Those 2 spare weeks open the opportunity for this Test Match to be played elsewhere in the region. We will keep our ear to the ground for news on this but for now, we will focus on our 119 Dehradun Tour.
Like our Cricket Tours to India, this is an 8-night tour, though your 8th night is in New Delhi after we return from Dehradun on the Shatabdi Express. As such, you can join us for this test only and leave from New Delhi without worrying about getting back as the train is included. Otherwise, you can relax in New Delhi for one more day before enjoying our Indian Railways Rajasthan Tour. This 12-night add-on adventure will end prior to the 3-Day Tour Game game against an India XI before the 1st Test.
Once we know where we are playing, we will confirm what we do but you will be able to book a single tour that includes the Afghanistan Test Match, the two-week break, and then the India series. The combined 5 Test Match, 8-week tour will include all Indian Railways journeys as required so you need only turn up to India, know when you are leaving and we will package everything in between for your convenience!
India is indeed incredible no matter what your reason for visiting. Although watching Australia play Afghanistan is not the greatest 'cricket reason' for visiting, if this is your only chance to enjoy Australian cricket in this wild nation, you should do it. The game may not have the same passion but guaranteed the local crowd should be a little more vocal for our hosts, rather the visitors!