Recently, Canberra’s top diplomat in Pakistan has stated that he hoped to bring in some Australian Cricketers to Pakistan to help to restore International cricket stature in Pakistan. International Cricket in Pakistan was stopped in March 2009, when the Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked by militants and 8 people were killed on the attack and some cricketers were severely injured. Since then, no International cricket match took place in Pakistan and also no team agrees to visit Pakistan for security issues.
Pakistan has been hosting their home matches in UAE since then.
To restore Cricket back in Pakistan, talks with associate team Ireland for a short series in September were done. But that too was put on hold after the Taliban carried out a brazen raid of Karachi airport earlier this month, killing dozens and shocking the country.
The Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Peter Heyward made a positive statement and he stated that confidence could be restored if foreign cricketers visited Pakistan though he did not elaborate on what form the visit might take or which players would be involved.
Heyward spoke about the matter at a ceremony on Saturday and his words were as such, “Rest assured, whenever I go to Australia I meet Cricket Australia and they say they can’t send the team until it’s safe. I understand it completely.”
He also added, “I hope to bring some cricketers next year (to Pakistan) to show them the situation and try to make a positive impact. We all are waiting for cricket to return to Pakistan and the Australian team would love to play here because the crowd is so knowledgeable.”
Prior to the attacks on Sri Lankan team back in 2009, players’ safety had been an issue in Pakistan which has faced a home-grown Islamist insurgency since joining hands with the United States after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Also, it is quite a mentionable fact that Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998 due to security reasons. They were due to a tour in October 2002 but the series was played in Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates after a suicide bombing outside the hotel of the New Zealand team forced them to cut short their tour in May that year.
Heyward hopes that the two nations could strengthen bonds between them by using Cricket as a medium and he hopes to see a Cricket series in Pakistan soon. At last, he made a hopeful statement and claimed, “Cricket is one of the issues which unite Pakistan and Australia and I hope Pakistan and Australia meet in the final of the World Cup 2015.”
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