Sunday December 04, 2022

Some players may not be ‘comfortable’ touring Pakistan, says Australian skipper

Tim Paine admits that there will be "issues that will, I’m sure, pop up"

By Web Desk
November 09, 2021
Australian captain Tim Paine. Photo: file
Australian captain Tim Paine. Photo: file 

LAHORE: Australian captain Tim Paine Tuesdays said that some players may feel uncomfortable while travelling to Pakistan for the planned tour next year.

A day earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had shared the details of Australia's tour of Pakistan, scheduled to take place in March-April next year.

Tim Paine's Australian side is scheduled to visit Pakistan and take on the Men in Green for three Test matches, an equal number ODIs and one T20 in 2022.

The tour, however, will go ahead only after security clearance is issued.

Australian captain Tim Paine spoke to Australian radio station SEN and admitted that some players may not be 100% on board with touring Pakistan.

'Some guys will be happy to take the experts’ advice'

"There’ll be some guys who will be happy to take the experts’ advice and others will want to know a bit more,” Paine said. "If we’re totally honest, there might be some people who aren’t comfortable going regardless.

Paine admitted that there will be "issues that will, I’m sure, pop up."

He said the team will discuss the subject and hopefully, get the right answers. "Hopefully, we will get the best team we can," he said, adding that the decision to either go or not go to Pakistan rests with an individual, instead of the team.

Pain delved into his experience of touring Pakistan in 2017, when he was part of the World XI team that played in an exhibition series in Pakistan.

The Australian captain admitted he was reassured but also "unnerved" at the same time, with Pakistan's security officials taking extraordinary measures, such as having choppers fly above the team's bus.

"The security that we had on that tour was unlike anything that I’ve ever seen in my life,” Paine said. "We had helicopters overhead, roads shut down five kilometres around us, checkpoints like every kilometre into the ground, it was extraordinary.

"The fact you’re seeing it and thinking to yourself it may be necessary can be a bit unnerving, but at the same time to see the planning and execution of it, with literally a couple of choppers above your bus 20-30 metres above your head was comforting but also unnerving at the same time," he added.

Schedule for Australia's tour of Pakistan

The Australian cricket team will arrive in March next year in Pakistan and play a full cricket series till April next year.

The first Test match between the two sides will be played from March 3 in Karachi while the second Test will be played from March 12-16 in Rawalpindi.

The teams will then play a third Test match from March 21-25 in Lahore.

The Tests will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

All four white-ball matches of the series will take place in Lahore from March 29 to April 5, confirmed the PCB.

This will be the first time that an Australian side will be visiting Pakistan to play a cricket series here after 24 years.

The last time an Australian squad played a series in Pakistan was in 1998 when Mark Taylor led them to a 1-0 series victory – their first since Richie Benaud’s side defeated Fazal Mahmood’s team by 2-0 in the 1959-60 series. Between the two series, Pakistan hosted Australia in 1964-65 (drew 0-0), 1979-80 (won 1-0), 1982-83 (won 3-0), 1988-89 (won 1-0) and 1994-95 (won 1-0).