Australia news: Touring squad touches down in Pakistan, security tight


A touring party from Australia touched down in Pakistan for the first time since 1998 on Sunday 27 February 2022.

The series also marks the start of Australia’s first outgoing Test tour in nearly three years.

Australia’s Test squad led by Pat Cummins have been greeted by tight security.

“The squad will be given ‘head of state-level security’,” a spokesman for Pakistan’s interior ministry told AFP.

“Such arrangements are only made for high-level foreign delegations, (and) the president and prime minister of Pakistan.”

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan is the country’s sitting prime minister and has pledged 4,000 police and military personnel to guard the team hotel in Islamabad and the stadium in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan are taking no chances with this series having been hit hard by the withdrawals of New Zealand and England from proposed tours last year.

New Zealand Cricket claimed their withdrawal was down to a ‘credible security threat’.

Australia players have been positive about the tour, sharing candid snaps on social media during their journey.

“We’ve got to a place where everyone hopping on the plane is comfortable with where it’s all sitting,” Cummins said ahead of the team’s departure.

“It’s been a really thorough body of work that the security and the logistics teams have worked through.”

Australia tour of Pakistan

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood. Reserves: Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Haris

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. On standby: Sean Abbott, Brendan Doggett, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Renshaw

March 4-8: First Test, Rawalpindi

March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi

March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore

Australia ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi

March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi

April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi

April 5: Only T20I, Rawalpindi