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Australia unlikely to tour Pakistan any time soon, says James Sutherland

Australia will not tour Pakistan in the near future, says Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, adding that they will take an “appropriately conservative” view on security issues.

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2017 12:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Australia national cricket team,James Sutherland,Pakistan national cricket team
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland (L) has ruled out a tour to Pakistan in the immediate future at least. (AFP)

Pakistan may have been celebrating the ‘return of cricket’ in their country after successfully organising the first two matches of their three-match series against the International Cricket Council (ICC) World XI, but there is still a lot left to be done to get other teams to tour.

Zimbabwe had toured Pakistan amid heavy security back in 2015, and Lahore has been converted into a fortress for the ongoing Independence Cup which is currently levelled at 1-1 with one more game left.

Pakistan will also be hosting Sri Lanka for one T20I later this year, but as far as Australia are concerned, the possibility of their team travelling is not in consideration as of now.

Interestingly, as many as three Australians — former captain George Bailey, Tim Paine and Ben Cutting — are in the ICC World XI squad whose participation is marking the return of cricket to Pakistan.

Even though Australia and Pakistan are not due to play over the next one-and-a-half years — with the Asian team playing a full series last summer Down Under — Australia expect the next series to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. Certainly, from Pakistan’s perspective, I really do hope they can get to a situation where they can host international cricket again on a more regular basis,” Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland was quoted as saying by The Canberra Times.

“At the same time, we’ll take an appropriately conservative approach on security. We’re not going to compromise on the safety and security of our employees.

“We only consider security issues in a country when we’re due to tour there. And when that country advises us of the preferred place to host us. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Sutherland added.

Sutherland confirmed that Australia expect to play their next series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “I don’t have any indications they are looking to play matches against us in Pakistan. I’m expecting they will be in the UAE.”

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 12:39 IST