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Cricket Australia chief cautiously optimistic about Australia touring Pakistan in future

Chief Executive of Cricket Australia (CA) Kevin Roberts is cautiously optimistic about Australia touring Pakistan in future tours. After a short visit to Pakistan, he said that ‘things are moving in the right direction”. Australia last visited Pakistan in 1998 and are scheduled to visit in 2022.

The purpose of the trip was to take to make an assessment of the situation in the country. He visited Islamabad and met PCB and Ministry of Interior officials and was brief about the security conditions.

“Things are heading in the right direction, but in saying that we were traveling in armoured cars and escorted by police and felt very safe. Certainly, that level of security is still required,” he told SEN radio.

“I hope we do [go back], for the sake of world cricket and Australia’s important relationship with Pakistan. As I said to Pakistan, we share their desire to see an international return, [but] we’ll never jeopardize the safety of our people and will continue to take advice from experts on the way.

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“We’ve got the next couple of years to hopefully plan for a tour in 2022 but we have to set that out carefully rather than rushing into it.”

The CA Chief Executive was accompanied by the board’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll. A report about their findings will be put to the CA members.

“It’s really good that’s the cricket world is opening its hearts and minds to the role of Pakistan and looking proactively and what it will take to return international cricket,” Roberts said. “There are parts of the country that are unfortunately very unsafe but there are parts where I think a number of countries would contemplate playing in the future when Pakistan is ready.”

Cricket is slowly trickling back in Pakistan after a rather barren decade. A weakened Sri Lanka team will be visiting Pakistan to play three ODIs and three T20Is at the end of this month.

Asjad Khan

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