Thursday, 26 May, 2022
E-paper

Australia arrive for first Pakistan tour in 24 years

Australia flew into Pakistan Sunday for their first cricket tour in nearly a quarter of a century -- and into a high-security bubble that will envelop them throughout their six-week stay.

Senior batsman Steve Smith posted a picture on Twitter of the 35-strong Australia tour party inside their charter flight's cabin after it touched down in the Pakistan capital, Islamabad.

Pakistan have struggled to attract visiting sides since a fatal terror attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team's bus in 2009. Australia pulled out of a tour five years earlier after a suicide blast at a Lahore church.

They last played in Pakistan in 1998, winning the three-Test series 1-0 and blanking the hosts in the three one-day internationals.

Having been forced to play their home games abroad -- mostly in the United Arab Emirates -- Pakistan appeared to have reassured international cricket authorities last year with both New Zealand and England scheduled to tour.