Cricket Australia are reportedly negotiating with Pakistan for playing all the matches in one venue from a security and health perspective but PCB has rejected it.
The Australian Men’s Cricket Team is all set to embark on a historic tour to Pakistan in March 2022. It will be the first time since 1998 that Australia will be coming to the country. In the previous series that they played on Pakistan soil, Australia whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in the ODIs and won the Test series 1-0. This was their first win in Pakistan after a period of three decades.
The tour will comprise of three Tests, three ODIs, and a similar number of Twenty20 Internationals. The Tests will be played from the period of March 3 to 25. The venues are reported to be Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Lahore. The three ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals have all been scheduled for Lahore.
However, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia reportedly negotiated with Pakistan Cricket Board to hold all the matches in a single venue. The main reasons were players’ security and health reasons. In the past, New Zealand and England pulled out of the tour of Pakistan at the last moment due to security concerns. Now, with Australia coming with their full-strength side, the Board does not want to take any chances.
The coronavirus pandemic is also active in Pakistan. In the last 24 hours, Pakistan has reported just over 7000 cases. Although the caseload is pretty low, managing the bio-bubble environment could be a big logistical issue. In the past, the Pakistan Cricket Board had to face embarrassment. The Pakistan Super League T20 tournament was suspended due to the breach in the bio-bubble.
Playing all the matches either in Lahore or Karachi might be one of the factors. International teams started touring Pakistan in 2015 but active touring began around 2019. Sri Lanka played Tests in the country after 10 years. Bangladesh also toured Pakistan while West Indies arrived for three T20Is. After the T20Is, the tour was suspended after cases were reported in the West Indies camp.
Australia will be sending their full squad to Pakistan, with Mitchell Starc not participating in the IPL. Jhye Richardson, though, is going to miss out as he believes his body might not be ready for the rigors of playing in the sub-continent. “It’s making sure we’re in the best place possible to play for the next 10 years. It is making sure the body is right and 100 percent moving forward. It would be exciting to play Test cricket in the subcontinent, it’s a big challenge. But for me now the focus is most certainly on the Sri Lankan series. Another T20 World Cup is also coming up,” Richardson said.