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Cricket Australia confirms Pakistan tour; PCB announces revised schedule

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Cricket Australia confirms Pakistan tour; PCB announces revised schedule​

The tour will now start and end in Rawalpindi with the opening Test to be played from 4-8 March


By Web Desk
February 04, 2022



Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket of an Australian batter during T20 World Cup 2021. — AFP/File
Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket of an Australian batter during T20 World Cup 2021. — AFP


LAHORE: In a major development for the Pakistani cricket fans, the Australian team’s tour to the country – the first in 24 years - has been formally endorsed by the Cricket Australia's Board in a meeting on Friday.


Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998 when Mark Taylor's team recorded a 1-0 win from the three-Test series.

Following the approval, Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia announced the revised itinerary for three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I.

The tour will now start and end in Rawalpindi with the opening Test to be played from 4-8 March and the four white-ball matches to be played from 29 March to 5 April.

The change in the first Test venue means that the second Test will be played in Karachi from 12-16 March and the third in Lahore from 21-25 March.


Expressing his satisfaction on the confirmation of the much-awaited tour, PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain said: “We are pleased that the Cricket Australia Board has formally approved their side’s five-week tour itinerary and confirmed that their best available players will visit Pakistan for the first time in 24 years.”
“We are really excited to host Pat Cummins and his players, and look forward to a competitive series that will comprise three Tests, three ODIs and a T20I,” he said.
The PCB CEO said that while Australia will arrive at the back of strong performances in their home series against England, the national team has been playing excellent cricket resulting in Pakistani players sweeping the ICC Awards.

This braces for a keenly contested series, something that the fans will thoroughly enjoy and remember for a long time, he said.

Revised schedule​

The schedule has been revised to ease logistical and operational challenges as well as to avoid Pakistan Day rehearsals, which usually commence in Islamabad in the second week of March.

The two cricket boards have also agreed that the Australia Test side will complete their isolation in Australia, before arriving in Islamabad on 27 February on a chartered flight. After a one-day room isolation, they will hold training sessions at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Australia’s white-ball players are expected to arrive in Lahore on 24 March following isolation in Australia and after one-day isolation upon arrival, they will integrate with other members of the side and travel to Islamabad for the first ODI in Rawalpindi on 29 March.

The Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs are linked to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League from which the top eight sides, including hosts India, will qualify directly for the 2023 50-over World Cup.

‘Historic ocassion’​

In a statement issued today, the CA said that the board has formally endorsed the men's team's tour of Pakistan, breaking a 24-year drought.

“I would like to thank the PCB and both the Pakistan and Australian Governments for ensuring the tour will proceed for the first time in 24 years," said chief executive Nick Hockley.

"This is a historic occasion and important for the global growth and health of the game.

“I would also like to thank the Australian Cricketers’ Association and the players, coaches, support teams, staff and security experts for their collaboration in the planning for the tour.


“We are looking forward to an exciting series between two world-class teams.”

Revised schedule:​

27 Feb – Arrival in Islamabad
4-8 Mar – 1st Test, Rawalpindi
12-16 Mar – 2nd Test, Karachi
21-25 Mar – 3rd Test, Lahore
29 Mar – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
31 Mar – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
2 April – 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi
5 Apr – one-off T20I, Rawalpindi
6 Apr – Departure


 

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Ashton Agar has been named as Australia's third spinner in an 18-man Test squad for their upcoming three-match tour of Pakistan.

Despite the fear of one or two players opting out of the tour there were very few surprises in the squad with Josh Hazlewood returning from the side strain that kept him out of the final four Tests of the Ashes while Marcus Harris has been retained as the spare opening batter. Mitchell Marsh has been included as a second allrounder and Josh Inglis will travel as the reserve wicketkeeper while Michael Neser remains in the squad as the fifth fast bowling option alongside skipper Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland and Hazlewood.

Jhye Richardson had already been ruled out of selection for Pakistan for workload management reasons.

Agar, a left-arm orthodox, joins offspinner Nathan Lyon and legspinner Mitchell Swepson as the trio of spinners. Swepson has yet to debut but has been Lyon's understudy for the past three years. Agar has played four Test matches but has not played Test cricket since September 2017 when Australia toured Bangladesh. He was part of a three-man spin attack alongside Lyon and Steve O'Keefe in the last Test he played in Chattogram but took just two wickets in a match where Lyon bagged 13.

Agar has also played just one first-class match since October 2020 due to his limited-overs commitments with Australia. He averages 41.28 with the ball in first-class cricket and strikes at 80.70.

Interim coach Andrew McDonald will take charge of the squad after Justin Langer resigned last Saturday.

National selector George Bailey believes the squad covers all bases as Australia are not quite sure what conditions they will get in Pakistan given the side has not toured there since 1998.

"This squad covers for all scenarios including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan," Bailey said.

"With several subcontinent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon this is a great first-up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes Series.

"It's also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan."

Some of Australia's batters have limited experience in Asia with Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head having played just one Test series in the UAE in 2018. Marcus Harris and Cameron Green have never played a first-class match in Asia and this will be Green's first overseas Test tour. Alex Carey has played one first-class match for Australia A in India and has international white-ball experience on the subcontinent.

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, Michael Neser, Steven Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner,
 

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday named a 16-member squad for the Test series against Australia, which will begin next month, opting to keep most of the players who were part of the national side during the series with Bangladesh in 2021.

In a statement, the PCB said three changes have been made in the squad that was part of the Test series against Bangladesh. Haris Rauf will replace Bilal Asif and Shan Masood will take over from Abid Ali while Yasir Shah has been included among the five reserve players.

Haris was part of the national team in Tests against South Africa and Zimbabwe last year while Shan last played in New Zealand in 2020-21, according to the PCB statement.





Test squad:

  • Babar Azam (captain)
  • Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain)
  • Abdullah Shafique
  • Azhar Ali
  • Faheem Ashraf
  • Fawad Alam
  • Haris Rauf
  • Hasan Ali
  • Imam-ul-Haq
  • Mohammad Nawaz
  • Nauman Ali
  • Sajid Khan
  • Saud Shakeel
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi
  • Shan Masood
  • Zahid Mahmood

The five reserve players are Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Yasir Shah.

Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim said the board had chosen consistency for the home series against Australia — who are touring Pakistan following an emphatic Ashes series win in January — and changes had only been made where necessary.

"This is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future," Wasim was quoted as saying in the statement.

"These are the best available, most talented and in-form players in the domestic circuit. I am confident they will put up an impressive performance against a formidable Australia side," he added.

The PCB also announced that Saqlain Mushtaq will continue as head coach for another 12 months while former Australian paceman Shaun Tait has been appointed as fast bowling coach for a year.

In addition, Mohammad Yousuf has been appointed as the batting coach for the series with Australia.

Last week, the PCB said the Australian Test team will arrive in the country on February 27. After isolating in Rawalpindi for one day, they will start practicing at Pindi Cricket Stadium for the first Test that will be held at the same venue from March 4 to 8.

They will then travel to Karachi for the second Test, scheduled to be held from March 12 to 16. Following that, they will travel to Lahore for the third Test that will take place from March 21 to 25.

The Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.

This will be Australia's first tour of Pakistan since 1998.
 

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11th oct 1956 at National Stadium Karachi ,

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Pakistan and Australia combined to score just 95 runs all day - the fewest in a full day's Test cricket.
 

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Pakistan squad start training for Test series against Australia​

Underscoring need for preparations, Saqlain Mushtaq says that home advantage will not be enough against Australia


By Web Desk
February 17, 2022



Pakistan cricket team head coach Saqlain Mushtaq. Photo: file
Pakistan cricket team head coach Saqlain Mushtaq.

KARACHI: Pakistan cricket team head coach Saqlain Mushtaq Thursday said that the Green Shirts’ Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia have started training in Karachi.

The tour — which will be Australia's first in 24 years — is set to start in Rawalpindi with the opening Test to be played from March 4-8 and the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5, according to a revised scheduled announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The players will attend sessions of physical, batting and bowling practice at the six-day training camp, Mushtaq told the journalists, adding that they were working to devise an effective strategy that will be seen in the ground during the clashes against Australia.

The Australian team should visit Pakistan without any fear, he said, adding that the entire nation is waiting for the Aussies.

Speaking on the occasion, he declared skipper Babar Azam “the best player of the world.” He said that they were working on Muhammad Hasnain’s bowling action and added that the nation would receive good news about it.

He maintained that the training camp will continue till February 23 in Karachi.

Replying to a question, he said that Muhammad Yousuf is a big name and if he was appointed on a permanent basis it will be beneficial for both him and the Pakistan team.

He maintained that they will have to focus on their preparations. He added that home advantage will not be enough against Austria.
 

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LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wednesday announced an updated Test squad for the upcoming Australia series, with all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz being ruled out of the tournament.

The much-awaited Test series against Australia will commence on March 4 in Rawalpindi. This will be the first time an Aussie squad will visit Pakistan in 24 years.


Nawaz has been ruled out of the series because of a foot injury and he will not be replaced, while Naseem Shah and Sarfaraz Ahmed have now been added as traveling reserves, a statement from the PCB said.

However, Shah and Sarfaraz will only be considered for selection if there is an injury, the PCB said.

Mohammad Haris has been added to the reserve players list. However, he, along with Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah have been advised to participate in the Pakistan Cup, which commences on March 2, PCB said.

If required, they will be drafted into the side, the statement said.

Squad:​

Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), 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, and Zahid Mahmood.

Test schedule:​

March 4-8 — First Test, Rawalpindi

March 12-16 — Second Test, Karachi

March 21-25 — Third Test, Lahore

Australia squad

Cricket Australia have already announced an 18-member 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, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, and David Warner.
 

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Before the big cricketing clash happens between two nations, both gaming and willing to the other, it would be the most exciting series. Many Pakistanis have never seen many of Australians players, and a many Australians will be playing for the first time with a lot of unexpected cricket conditions.

Aussies watching PSL matches in Lahore City to understand Pakistan's game: Australia's interim coach​

By Sohail Imran
  • “We have worked on foundational strategy, keeping Pakistan's training pitches and grass pitches in mind,” McDonald says.
  • Interim coach says Aussie squad is balanced.
  • Says Pakistan has some very good fast bowlers.
Aussies interim coach Andrew McDonald. — Cricket Australia
Aussies interim coach Andrew McDonald. — Cricket Australia

The Australian cricket team is watching matches of the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) ahead of their tour to Pakistan next month in order to understand the game of the Men in Green, Aussies interim coach Andrew McDonald revealed Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, McDonald said that the Aussies have completed all their preparations before leaving for Pakistan.

“Our squad is balanced,” he said, adding that keeping in view the conditions of the pitches we have options.

The interim coach reiterated that it is a well-known fact the Australian team faces difficulties while playing in the sub-continent.

“We have worked on foundational strategy, keeping Pakistan's training pitches and grass pitches in mind,” he said.
Shedding light on the performance of the players, he told the media that bowling pressure on all-rounder +Cameron Green would increase in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, batters Usman Khawaja and David Warner will be among the top-order during the series.

Replying to questions regarding Pakistan team, the interim coach said one cannot predict about Pakistan team.

“It is difficult to say whether Pakistan's team playing on the home ground is different or the team playing in the UAE,” he said.
McDonalds was of the view that Pakistan has some very good fast bowlers and especially mentioned Shaheen Shah Afridi, stating that his performance is constantly improving.

The Aussies' coach said that the spectators will see a good competition because they also have some good bowlers.

Australia's 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

Pakistan's Test squad​

  • Babar Azam (captain)
  • Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain)
  • Abdullah Shafique
  • Azhar Ali
  • Faheem Ashraf
  • Fawad Alam
  • Haris Rauf
  • Hasan Ali
  • Imam-ul-Haq
  • Mohammad Nawaz
  • Nauman Ali
  • Sajid Khan
  • Saud Shakeel
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi
  • Shan Masood
  • Zahid Mahmood
Reserves

  • Kamran Ghulam
  • Mohammad Abbas
  • Naseem Shah
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed
  • Yasir Shah

Australia to tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years​

The PCB had earlier announced the details of Australia's first tour of Pakistan since November 1998. The tour will take place in March and April 2022 and will include three Tests, three One-day internationals, and one Twenty20 international.

Karachi (March 3-7), Rawalpindi (March 12-16 ), and Lahore (March 21-25) will host the Tests, while Lahore will host the four white-ball matches from March 29 to April 5.

The Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be part of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team competition from which the top seven teams and hosts India will qualify directly for the 2023 event.

 

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