ISLAMABAD: The Australian High Commissioner, Neil Hawkins on Monday visited the Pakistan cricket squad in Rawalpindi cricket stadium where the players were busy in their training camp.
It was a surprise visit and the diplomat had a frank chat with Australia-bound team members. Neil Hawkins, who represents the country that gave a crushing defeat to India in the World Cup last week, praised the Pakistan team along with his spouse. The high commissioner warmly welcomed the Pakistani cricket test squad ahead of their Australian tour, sources at the Australian High Commission told the media.
High Commissioner Hawkins met key players of the Pakistan test team, including Captain Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Rizwan, and others. Team Director Muhammad Hafeez gave an insight into the meticulous preparations underway for the upcoming series. The high commissioner expressed enthusiasm for the three-match Test series. He mixed up with the players and exchanged pleasantries. Hawkins also played a few shots with the practising Pakistan team and extended his best wishes for the team’s visit to Australia. He told the Pakistan side, “They won’t just be cricketers in Australia but they’ll be ambassadors and role models, fostering meaningful connections with their extensive Pakistani and Australian fanbase.”
The Australian high commissioner also discussed the difference in pitches between Pakistan and Australia and expressed the hope that Pakistan’s fast bowlers would excel in the contest.”I encourage all Pakistanis to show their support for the Shaheens,” the High Commissioner added. Expressing eagerness for an exciting contest, High Commissioner Hawkins highlighted the historic nature of the tour, with the Perth Stadium set to host Pakistan for the first time on December 14. The Melbourne Cricket Ground will witness the second test from December 26-30, followed by the third and final match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 3, 2024.
Impressed by the talent of Pakistan’s cricketers, the high commissioner concluded by saying, “We are looking forward to an exciting contest and a glorious Australian summer of cricket.” He congratulated the new captain Shan Masood and had a candid chat with him and other players including Babar Azam. The players and officials of the team also praised the gesture of the Australian envoy.
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