Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Australia to tour Pakistan for first time in 24 years

Australia will tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years in March-April, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Monday, despite England and New Zealand recently pulling out of matches there.

Australia will play three Tests, as many one-day internationals and a single Twenty20 international.

"Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja said in a statement.

The tour will be a huge boost for Pakistan, which was hit hard when New Zealand abandoned its tour over a security alert just as the two teams were due to kick off their first match in September.

England pulled out a week later and there had been fears Australia would do the same.

"Cricket Australia is excited about the prospect of touring Pakistan next year for what will be a highly anticipated series in a country so incredibly passionate about the game and their national team," said Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley.

"The safety and welfare of our players and staff remains our number one priority and we will continue to work with the PCB and relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate and sufficient arrangements are put in place for the tour."

Pakistan had gradually returned to the cricket map as hosts of international matches following a six-year hiatus in the wake of attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.