It has been more than 20 years that any Australian side has visited Pakistan for a series and the security situation in Pakistan has forced the side to play its series at a neutral venue – United Arab Emirates.
However, with the Pakistan Super League games being staged in Pakistan and security situation improving rapidly, the doors to international cricket in Pakistan are also opening.
Pakistan has recently hosted World XI side, Sri Lanka and West Indies for short series along with several games of Pakistan Super League.
And, the arrangements made during these games have impressed everyone, including the Australian captain Aaron Finch who has said that he would love to visit Pakistan to play Cricket.
“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,” Finch said in Taunton.
“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,” he added.
No Australian team has toured Pakistan since 1998. Efforts were made to convince Australia to play some matches in Pakistan this year, but it didn’t work.
Three Australian Cricketers – Tim Paine, Ben Cutting and George Bailey – were part of the World XI squad that toured Pakistan in 2017 for three T20Is.
“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,” Finch concluded.
Australian captain Aaron Finch also termed Pakistan an “incredibly dangerous” side ahead of his side’s World Cup match against the Green Shirts at Cooper Associates County ground in Taunton.
Speaking at the press conference ahead of the game, Finch said that no player in Pakistan side can be disregarded and they have some world class players in the line-up.
“I think Pakistan are obviously a very dangerous side. We’ve seen consistently throughout, especially ICC tournaments, that they win a lot of games and they get themselves in a position to win the tournament. And they had a great Champions Trophy. So regardless of what kind of form Pakistan go in with, they’re always incredibly dangerous,” Finch told media at Taunton.
“They’ve got some world-class players. Obviously, Babar is in great touch batting at No. 3 and holding their batting together. But also they’ve got some world class bowlers”, he added.
“Amir coming back and he looks to be back to his best. He’s swinging the ball again. Wahab has been fast and aggressive. Shadab is a great bowler. Hassan had a great Champions Trophy as well,” he further added.
Finch added that there’s no player that you can disregard and Pakistan has got a lot of experience on their side with a lot of match winners.
“Every time you come up against Pakistan you have to play your best to beat them,” he said.