CA confirms Pakistan tour, Cummins hoping to lead full-strength side

CA confirms Pakistan tour, Cummins hoping to lead full-strength side

Synopsis

This will be the first time in more than two decades when Kangaroos will visit the country

CA confirms Pakistan tour, Cummins hoping to lead full-strength side

Image: File Photo

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Pakistan fans are excited and looking forward to the historic tour of Australia after 24 long years, where they will be playing three Tests, as many ODIs and a T20I.

Since the time when the tour was announced, there were speculations regarding who will join the Australian squad and who will not.

However, Test captain Pat Cummins is expecting to have almost all the key players in the ranks for the tour of Pakistan.

Just during the last week, there were some reports concerning some of the Australian players’ reservations over a slight rise in the terrorist attacks in the country. Still, the leader of the pack confirmed on Thursday that the majority of the players were comfortable with the tour going ahead.

“I think we’ll get close to a full-strength squad,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Cummins. “There is still a little bit of work to do. We have received a lot of information and it has been great. All the pre-tour security and biosecurity work has been done and it’s been fantastic.”

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The 28-year-old further maintained that some players might just pull out of the scheduled assignment, but the cricket authorities will back their decision.

“There are a couple of players still keen to get a bit more information but everyone is really pumped and feeling relatively comfortable,” he added. “If anyone doesn’t make the tour it is absolutely okay, we will back them for sure.”

It will be the first overseas Test series for Australia after 2019 and will be one of their three subcontinent visits of their World Test Championship. They are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in the mid of 2022 and travel to India in early 2023.

Schedule

The Kangaroos will leave for the historic tour after almost three weeks and will play the first Test match from March 4 to 8 in Rawalpindi. The second and third Tests will be played from March 12 to 16 and 21 to 25 in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.

The teams will then travel back to Rawalpindi, where they will compete in the ODI series from March 29 to April 2.

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The reigning T20 Champions will take on the 2009 Champions in the one-off 20-over game of the tour on April 5 at the same venue.

 

‘Cancelling tour made zero sense’

England’s flamboyant opening batter Alex Hales is enjoying his time with Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and is looking in prime form with the bat.

Hales, who has been an integral part of United, is currently touring Pakistan for the festive T20 league along with around two dozen English players, just after a couple of months when the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cancelled their brief tour of Pakistan.

He recently commented on the cancelled tour and said that the ECB’s decision ‘made zero sense’.

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“I think after Pakistan came to England during Covid, helped out the ECB massively, so for them to cancel that tour made zero sense to me whatsoever,” he said while talking to Geo News.

The 33-year-old added that he has toured the country about four or five times so far and on every occasion, he has been treated with great hospitality and he has always felt safe.

“I’ve been here four or five times now and get looked after really well,” he reminisced. “Every time we come here, the people are very hospitable and cricket is always really good. The fans here are crazy for it. So, it’s a great place to come and play cricket, I absolutely feel safe,” he told Geo News.

 

‘A great place to play cricket’

On the other hand, Hales’ England’s teammate David Willey confessed that he was a bit nervous before coming to Pakistan for the PSL 7; however, he found everything as it was promised.

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“I was a little bit nervous before I came [here],” said Willey, who is playing for Multan Sultans in the league, while talking to Geo News. “But everything is as we were told it would be. The security has been fantastic. We’ve been looked after exceptionally well.”

Willey, while praising the brand of cricket in the country and how good it is to play the sport in this part of the world, expressed hope that it stays this way and Pakistan get to host many such events in the future as well.

“There’s no question about the passion and love for cricket in this part of the world. It’s a great place to come and play cricket and it’s brilliant,” he maintained. “So, let’s hope it stays that way and cricket can go on and there can be more great matches.”

The left-arm pacer further shared how his teammates Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid spoke highly of Pakistan, so he was ready for some quality time.

“We’ve got Moeen Ali and Rashid who played for England and spoke very highly of Pakistan. So, I sort of had a good idea what I was coming to,” he said.

Talking about the standard of the game in the PSL, the Englishman, who has played the leading franchise-based leagues in the world, including the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League and others, stated that the quality of cricket was exceptionally high.

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“I’ve not been out here before, but I’ve watched it on television previously and the standard is exceptionally high,” he maintained. “I think that the most noticeable thing is the battery of the fast bowlers that you have here. It’s exceptional.”

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