Home Cricket Australian Team Arrives for First Pakistan Tour in 24 Years With Security Tight

Australian Team Arrives for First Pakistan Tour in 24 Years With Security Tight

Australian Team Arrives for First Pakistan Tour in 24 Years With Security Tight

Australia flew into Pakistan Sunday for his or her first cricket tour in almost 1 / 4 of a century — and right into a high-security bubble that can envelop them all through their six-week keep.

Senior batsman Steve Smith posted an image on Twitter of the 35-strong Australia tour celebration inside their constitution flight’s cabin after it touched down within the Pakistan capital, Islamabad. Local officers confirmed their arrival.

Pakistan have struggled to draw visiting sides since a deadly terror assault on the visiting Sri Lanka group’s bus in 2009. Australia pulled out of a tour 5 years earlier after a suicide blast at a Lahore church.

They final performed in Pakistan in 1998, successful the three-Test sequence 1-0 and blanking the hosts within the three one-day internationals.

Having been pressured to play their house video games overseas — principally within the United Arab Emirates — Pakistan appeared to have reassured worldwide cricket authorities final 12 months with each New Zealand and England scheduled to tour.

But the Black Caps rapidly departed in September simply minutes earlier than their first match was as a consequence of begin, citing safety fears, and England postponed excursions by each their males’s and ladies’s groups quickly after.

The choices incensed Pakistan cricket authorities, who felt that they had carried out every part doable to make sure security and safety.

They say they’re once more leaving nothing to probability, with almost 4,000 police and army personnel guarding the group resort in Islamabad and the cricket stadium within the close by garrison metropolis of Rawalpindi.

– ‘Head of state-level’ safety –

“The squad will likely be given ‘head of state-level security’,” a spokesman for Pakistan’s interior ministry told AFP.

“Such arrangements are only made for high-level foreign delegations, (and) the president and prime minister of Pakistan.”

Roads will likely be blocked off when the Australians make the 15-kilometre (11-mile) commute, with their group bus to be shadowed by military helicopters.

Snipers will likely be positioned on buildings surrounding the stadium, whereas close by retailers and places of work have been ordered to shut on match days, the inside ministry stated.

Similar preparations will likely be in place for matches in Karachi and Lahore.

The Australians will likely be confined to quarters for twenty-four hours after arrival for Covid assessments, earlier than intense coaching forward of the primary Test beginning March 4.

“We’ve acquired to a spot the place everybody hopping on the airplane is comfy with the place it’s all sitting,” Australian skipper Pat Cummins said ahead of the team’s departure from Sydney.

“It’s been a really thorough body of work that the security and the logistics teams have worked through.”

More than half Pakistan’s 220 million folks weren’t even born the final time Australia toured — the median age is 22.8 — however stadiums are anticipated to be packed because the nation emerges comparatively unscathed from the Omicron stage of the Covid epidemic.

The groups will play three Tests, three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match earlier than the Australians depart on April 6.

Pakistan are as a consequence of host eight Tests, 11 ODIs and 13 Twenty20 internationals within the subsequent 13 months.

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