Australia set to resume touring Pakistan after 24 years

Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore are scheduled to host the three Test matches in March and the limited-overs portion will be played in Lahore from March 29-April 5.

The Test matches will be part of the World Test Championship (WTC). The ODIs will be counted toward World Cup Super League.

Australia will tour Pakistan for the first time in nearly 24 years when it plays three Test matches, three One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 International next year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Monday.

Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore are scheduled to host the three Test matches in March and the limited-overs portion will be played in Lahore from March 29-April 5.

The Test matches will be part of the World Test Championship (WTC). The ODIs will be counted toward World Cup Super League.

Mark Taylor led Australia to a 1-0 victory in the last Test series it played in Pakistan in 1998. Since then Pakistan has hosted Australia four times at neutral venues in Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

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“Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said in a statement.

“Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore.”

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley acknowledged the efforts of the PCB in planning the tour and said he looked forward to close cooperation to finalise the necessary operations, logistics, security and COVID-19 protocols.

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“The safety and welfare of our players and staff remains our No. 1 priority,” Hockley said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the PCB and relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate and sufficient arrangements are put in place for the tour.”

The PCB said a Cricket Australia delegation will visit Pakistan to meet with various Pakistan government officials and finalise arrangements.

Pakistan and Australia are set to meet in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2021 at Dubai on Thursday.

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