Australia opened the door for playing cricket in Pakistan for the first time in over 20 years after being approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sydney Morning Herald News has reported.
Managing Director of PCB Wasim Khan said that he is keen for the return of international cricket in Pakistan as soon as possible.
The Australians are scheduled to play five ODIs against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in March before the ICC Cricket World Cup in England. The Asian side are planning to host the opening two fixtures on their home soil.
“We are in ongoing discussions with the PCB about the one-day tour in March next year,” a Cricket Australia spokesman said. “We recognise the PCB and the Pakistan government is taking every step to improve the security for touring cricket teams and we’ll continue discussions with the PCB, with the safety and security of Australian players and support staff being our number one priority.”
Australian players Tim Paine, Ben Cutting and George Bailey were part of a World XI squad which played a three-match T20 series in Pakistan 2017.
Kangaroos last toured Pakistan in 1998 for a three-match Test and three-match ODI series under the leadership of Mark Taylor. However, the doors of international cricket in the country were closed from 2009 till 2015 following the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
Zimbabwe became the first team to tour Pakistan in six years following the attack. Sri Lanka returned for a one-off Twenty20 in 2017. The West Indies played a three-match T20 series in Karachi in April this year.
Apart from international events, the country has been staging the Pakistan Super League fixtures in the country in which foreign players took part.
All of these matches were played under “military-style security”.