Afghanistan Tests spell Aussie UAE return

Jun 22, 2017 - 10:27 PM Australia are set to play more cricket in the unhappy hunting ground of the United Arab Emirates after Afghanistan were granted Test-playing nation status.

Afghanistan and Ireland have been voted in as full members of the International Cricket Council, meaning they can play Test matches against the world's elite countries.

The Afghans don't play in their country due to security concerns and instead play home matches in the UAE, where the Australian Test team has visited twice in the past.

Playing an away Test series against Afghanistan means Australia will return to the scene of their 2-0 humbling by Pakistan in 2014, where they lost matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by a combined 577 runs.

Pakistan's spinners dominated the series after UAE curators produced slow, turning wickets similar to those seen on the subcontinent, where Australia have not won since 2011 when they beat Sri Lanka 1-0.

Australia's previous visit was two matches against Pakistan in Sharjah, with the visitors winning each by more than an innings margin during a dominant period in 2002.

Afghanistan and Ireland are the first to receive Test status since Bangladesh in 2000.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said the countries deserved their elevated status because of "their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field ... and growth of cricket in their respective countries".

Ireland and Afghanistan have been playing as associate members since 1993 and 2013, respectively.

Source: AAP

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