TAUNTON: Some twenty years ago, Australia visited Pakistan to play a series. Since then, security concerns has kept the foreign teams from visiting the country and had to settle in on the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates to play with the Green Shirts.
However, with Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches being hosted by Pakistan and security scenario improving rapidly, the country seemed to have open doors to the international cricket.
Pakistan, with successfully hosting World XI, PSL, Sri Lanka and West Indies for shorter series, has shown promise when it comes to preparations and security arrangements, which has caught the attention of Australian captain Aaron Finch.
Expressing a desire to play in Pakistan while talking to media in Taunton, Finch said, “from all reports, the guys who played there said it was an amazing time to play cricket in Pakistan, just for them to have cricket back in their home country where there’s so much love and passion for the game is incredible. It’s well above my decision-making whether to decide whether the team should go back and whether it’s safe enough.”
He added, “so I’m sure that all countries and the ICC and everyone involved is doing their due diligence in making sure that security and everything is looked at to make sure that when cricket is ready to go back to Pakistan. And I’d love to play there. No doubt.”
Australian team last visited Pakistan in 1998. Since then, there have been countless efforts by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to convince the Aussies to visit Pakistan but to no avail.
Three Australian Cricketers – Tim Paine, Ben Cutting, and George Bailey – were included in the World XI squad that visited Pakistan in 2017 for three T20Is.
Finch concluded, “it’s such a wonderful country to — you hear of stories of guys who played there in the past that said how amazing it is to play there and then similarly to India with the passion of their fans and the crowds, when it’s ready it will happen. And that’s going to come down to individual boards and the ICC and all the right people making the decisions.”