Melbourne: Australia is all set to tour Pakistan with its top players as no player has expressed apprehension about touring the country so far. Pakistan has not been able to host the top international team and tournament for almost a decade due to security reasons. The last time Pakistan hosted an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament on its soil was in 1996 when it co-hosted the World Cup with India and Sri Lanka.
After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, Test cricket could not be organized in the country till 2019. Last year too, before the T20 World Cup, the New Zealand and England teams had pulled out of the Pakistan tour due to security reasons. New Zealand then decided to withdraw just before the match. Australia’s team is on its way to tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years. National selector George Bailey has described the security plan as very strong.
According to the Cricket Australia (CA) website, Bailey told reporters on Tuesday, “I believe that both the boards are still working on some minor things regarding the tour, so once they get the formal approval, we will be the team. But we are going in the right direction to a large extent.
Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998 under the leadership of Mark Taylor. All things are positive about the Pakistan tour but uncertainty remains over the resumption of the Sheffield Shield season. The selectors, however, did not have to look at the performance of the players in the Shield tournament after Australia’s 4-0 win over England in the Ashes. (agency)