Cricket Australia refuses to tour Pakistan for upcoming limited-overs series

The Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja also opined on the matter.

Jason Behrendorff, Australia, India, T20I
Jason Behrendorff. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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Cricket Australia expressed their desire to tour Pakistan in the near future but will not tour the country for the upcoming series in April and they said the same to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Australia are scheduled to play five one-day internationals in March and April and the series against the Asian side will be their last ODIs before they begin their quest to defend the title at the World Cup in England.

Australia haven’t played in Pakistan since 1998 but there were hopes that they might play this time around as international cricket is gradually returning to the country with Windies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe touring the country since 2015. PCB chairman Ehsan Mani spoke to then CA chief executive Kevin Roberts during the Aussies’ Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, with Mani publicly calling for Australia, England and New Zealand to come to Pakistan.

We formally advised the PCB of this position

“We want to see international cricket return to Pakistan – the country has a huge passion for it,” the CA spokesperson said but it won’t happen in the coming months. “However, the safety of our players and support staff is our number one priority and we won’t compromise that. We’ll continue to take advice from a range of government agencies and our own security intelligence and act on this accordingly.

At this stage, from an Australia team perspective, we are not contemplating moving our current bilateral-tour arrangements from taking on Pakistan in the UAE, when they host the next series but we do remain open to the idea of playing in the country again. We formally advised the PCB of this position in early January,” the Cricket Australia official was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.

Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja recently gave a green signal to tour Pakistan given that the security was approved. “Obviously, whatever Cricket Australia tells us, that’ll be the big thing,” Khawaja said. “We’ll leave it to the administrators. They’re pretty good at taking care of us and making sure everything’s safe.”

“I was born in Pakistan so it won’t be too different for me, but it’s still a while away,” he added. The series can also mark the comeback of Steve Smith and David Warner as the duo’s one-year bans will end by the end of March. The final dates for the series haven’t yet been announced by the PCB.

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