Some Australian cricketers are reportedly having second thoughts about embarking on a historic tour of Pakistan in March.
Australia has not taken a team to Pakistan since 1998, when Mark Taylor was captain.
Late last year, Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board excitedly announced plans to play a multi-format series there in March and April.
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The tour is near completion of the planning stage, but the Sydney Morning Herald now reports players are contemplating not going due to the risk of terrorist activity.
“We’re all toey about it,” the Herald quoted a “source close to the team”.
Terrorist activity in Pakistan has reportedly increased in recent months, and last week a bomb exploded in Lahore – where the Australian team would spend most of their tour – reportedly killing three people and wounding at least 28 more.
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A report from the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) found there was 294 attacks by “militants” in 2021 alone, which killed 395 people.
“Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board continue to work closely in planning the tour and are in regular contact with our respective governments,” a statement this week said.
“A constructive pre-tour visit of Pakistan was undertaken by CA and Australian Cricketers’ Association representatives in December, with detailed planning and preparation for the tour ongoing.
“We continue to have regular and open discussions with our players and support staff on the extensive security, biosecurity and operational arrangements for the tour.”
Australian selector George Bailey remains confident the tour will go ahead.
“The security sounds very, very robust and very, very thorough,” Bailey said.
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