Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg has reckoned that all the Australian players selected for the upcoming month-long tour of Pakistan will not have any reservations touring the country in March-April this year.
Notably, Australia is scheduled to play three Tests, as many ODIs and a one-off T20 International on their Pakistan tour, which will begin with the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 3. Significantly, the upcoming tour will be Australia’s maiden tour of Pakistan since 1998.
The last time when Australia had toured Pakistan in 1998, the Mark Taylor-led touring side had won the three-Test series 1-0.
“I think everyone will go,” Greenberg was quoted as saying by sen.com.au on Wednesday.
“It’s a very significant tour with three Test matches. Talking to (the) players, they want to test themselves against the very best in the world and they want to play in different conditions,” he added.
After the recently concluded Ashes seires, Australia’s focus will now be on Pakistan tour as it would be very significant for Test players like Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja.
Although Labuschagne may be the No.1 ranked Test bastman globally, however, he is to play a Test in the sub-continent. On the other hand, Khawaja, who had slammed centuries in both the innings of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), would aim to repeat the good show in Pakistan.
“As Australians, we’ve got a duty to the broader international game to continue to play cricket (overseas),” Greenberg said.
“We can’t just expect teams to continue to tour Australia and for us not to make that same level of commitment,” he added.
Meanwhile, Greenberg further admitted that Australia not touring Pakistan in the last 24 years was because of the turmoil in the country. He however, said that Cricket Australia (CA) will do everything possible to ensure the highest security measures are in place.
“We’re not taking any chance and we’re doing everything possible to protect them… not just to the players but their families. We’ll take a really strong team and players will embrace that opportunity,” he added.
The upcoming Test series beween touring Australia and hosts Pakistan will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.
Last year, New Zealand had abandoned their limited-overs tour of Pakistan in September due to security issues and had flown out from the country. The series was abandoned just few hours before the start of the first ODI.
Later, the England men’s and women’s teams had also called off their short tours to Pakistan before the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Notably, England was looking at the tour as a prepration for the showpiece event, who was held in the UAE.