Australian cricketers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja are ready to play cricket in Pakistan provided if their security concerns are addressed, FOX Sports reported Saturday.
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.
“Obviously, whatever Cricket Australia tells us, that’ll be the big thing,” Khawaja told the media. “We’ll leave it to the administrators. They’re pretty good at taking care of us and making sure everything’s safe.”
“It would be great to get cricket back in Pakistan,” Finch said on Friday. “The passion their fans have got and just the amount of fans … (there are) some pretty empty stadiums in the UAE. Anytime there’s cricket back in Pakistan, they’re swinging from the rafters to get a seat.”
He added that it is upto the cricket boards and the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) to work things out.
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 captaincy of Mark Taylor. However, the doors of international cricket in the country were closed from 2009 till 2015 following an attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
Zimbabwe was the first team to tour Pakistan after six years in 2015. Sri Lanka returned for a one-off T20 in 2017. The West Indies played a three-match T20 series in Karachi in April last year.
Apart from international events, the country has been staging the Pakistan Super League fixtures in the country for last two years in which foreign players took part.
All of these matches were played under tight security.