Some Australian cricket players jittery over tour of Pakistan

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Australian cricket players during a practice session.

Gulf Today Report

Ahead of the Australian cricket team’s first tour of Pakistan in almost 24 years, some players are already feeling nervous about going to the country.

As Cricket Australia readies plans for the trip, recent deadly attacks, including one in Lahore where the team will spend most of the tour, have given the players the jitters, according to reports.

A powerful bomb hit a crowded marketplace in Lahore, killing at least three people and wounding 28.


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Chief selector George Bailey told reporters on Wednesday that security arrangements would be “very, very robust and very, very thorough”.

Cricket Australia said in a statement that the safety and wellbeing of players and support staff was its priority. It has announced a squad for its upcoming tour of Sri Lanka for the Twenty20 series but has put on hold announcing a preliminary squad for Pakistan.

Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998 due to security concerns, instead playing its away matches in the UAE.  New Zealand abruptly halted a tour there in September citing security issues and England shortly afterwards cancelled a planned tour.

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday that the current wave of terrorism had increased about 35 per cent to 38 per cent since August 15.

Australia are scheduled to play three tests, three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match in Pakistan starting on March 3.

 

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