Australia team in ‘really good hands,’ says coach after Peshawar blast

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Pat Cummins (R) with teammates walk back to pavilion on the end of the play of 1st day of first Test match in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Friday. aP

Australia coach Andrew McDonald on Friday said that the team was in “really good hands,” adding that the visitors touring Pakistan would be guided by security experts if things were to change.

His remarks came hours after at least 56 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Peshawar’s Kocha Risaldar area.

The success of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan in 24 years could potentially lead to regular visits by top teams who have largely shunned the South Asian country since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

Australianfan-PAkistan A cricket fan holds welcoming placard for Australia during the 1st day of first Test match in Rawalpindi. AP

Hours after the six-week tour got underway with the opening Test in Rawalpindi, the bombing took place in Peshawar, some 140 kilometres from where the Australia team are staying in Islamabad.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Our thoughts are obviously with the people in Peshawar,” McDonald said after the opening day’s play in Rawalpindi. “For us we’d be guided by our security team.

“We’re in really, really good hands, we have been since the guys landed. So we’ll be guided by those people, the experts in the field […] if anything were to change, clearly they will be able to be talking about (that),” the coach added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has arranged presidential-style security for the entire tour which also includes Test matches in Karachi and Lahore followed by four limited-overs matches in Rawalpindi.

Earlier on Friday, PCB chief executive Faisal Hasnain hoped Australia’s tour of Pakistan would encourage major cricket nations to shed their apprehensions and visit the country.


Reuters

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