Australia have agreed to tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years for a full series next year, providing a much-needed shot in the arm for the country’s cricket following the recent pullouts by England and New Zealand over security concerns.
Australia, who last toured Pakistan in 1998, will play three Tests in Karachi (March 3-7), Rawalpindi (March 12-16) and Lahore (March 21-25) as part of the World Test Championship.
Lahore will also be the venue for the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Monday.
In September, New Zealand, who were already in Pakistan, went back home without playing a game due to a security threat and soon after, England too announced they won’t be touring the country ahead of the T20 World Cup, dealing a huge setback to the PCB’s efforts in bringing high-quality international cricket to the country.
Australia coming to Pakistan is a big win for the recently-appointed PCB chief Ramiz Raja, who did not expect the Aussies to tour after England and New Zealand withdrew. England were criticised heavily for not touring the country.
“It pleases me no end that we’ll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight,” Raja said in a statement.