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November 21, 2019

Australia A may tour Pakistan before senior team’s visit

Sports

November 21, 2019

LAHORE: Australia A may become the first Aussie side to tour Pakistan in over two decades, Cricket Australia (CA) stated in a report on its website.

Australians have not played in Pakistan since 1998 due to security reasons but the recent visits by CA’s Chief Executive Kevin Roberts and the board’s Head of Security Sean Carroll in October have hinted at a possible tour of a team from Down Under.

According to the report, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan is keen for an Australia A side to play in Pakistan before the Test sides meet in early 2022.

“A lot of these things are baby steps. We need to discuss timings of a potential ‘A’ tour, the length of the tour and where it’s played,” Wasim told cricket.com.au. “It gives us an opportunity to close a gap a little bit because we have two-and-a-half years before Australia are here (in Pakistan). Roberts and Carroll came out to Pakistan just to have a look and feel and understand the landscape in Pakistan around security.”

However, Kevin Roberts has clarified that the security of their players will be the top priority. “We share Pakistan’s desire for international cricket to return to their country and we’re encouraged to see Sri Lanka agreeing to a two-Test series there next month,” Roberts said.

“We won’t be rushing into a decision. We will continue to monitor the situation, consult with experts and evolve the discussions from my recent visit to Islamabad. First and foremost in our thinking is the safety of our players and staff.

“That said, things appear to be heading in the right direction as Pakistan’s home Test series against Sri Lanka would suggest.” The PCB chief executive will hold talks with the Australian Cricketers’ Association in Melbourne and Shane Watson, the newly appointed president of the players’ union, is expected to play the role of mediator. Watson is one of several Australians to have played Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixtures in Pakistan.

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