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Cricket Australia optimistic of Pakistan tour

Five-time world champions last toured Pakistan in 1998

Cricket Australia optimistic of Pakistan tour PHOTO: AFP

The Cricket Australia (CA) officials are optimistic about touring Pakistan in 2022 but any such decision will be taken after careful deliberation.

According to details, CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts and Security Head Sean Carroll have returned home from Pakistan, after the first high-level Australian delegation visit in more than a decade.

Roberts believes that their visit will go a long way in strengthening relationships with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).  

"The beauty of the timing of this visit, we wanted it to happen well before we were faced with a key decision," Roberts told SEN radio on Thursday.

"The purpose was really to understand the landscape, look at the plans they have in place around security and then start expressing our expectations for the safety of our players and our support staff well over two years away from when we're due to tour. So that we're not dealing with that, in a pressure-cooker environment, couple of months before the tour,” he added.

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The 47-year-old, who played 23 first-class and 18 List-A matches for New South Wales between 1994 and 1998, also revealed that things were heading in the right direction as far as tour of Pakistan is concerned.

"Things are heading in the right direction, but in saying that we were travelling in armoured cars and escorted by police and felt very safe over there. But certainly that level of security is still required at this point," he said.

Australia last toured Pakistan under the captaincy of Mark Taylor, way back in 1998, but has not done so since because of security concerns.

Pakistan will head to Australia for two Tests, later this year, with the two countries due to meet again in 2022. The PCB is hopeful for that series to take place in Pakistan and instead of the United Arab Emirates — which has been their home away-from-home since the unfortunate attack, in 2009, on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.