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‘Hopeful Australian cricket team will travel to Pakistan in 2022’

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Cricket Australia Chief Executive Kevin Roberts has said he is hopeful the cricket team will tour Pakistan in 2022 but won’t rush a decision.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Robertson said his visit was aimed at strengthening relationships with the Pakistan Cricket Board rather than assessing whether Australia’s 2022 tour would proceed. Robertson and Cricket Australia’s head of security Sean Carroll were in Pakistan on Tuesday on a day-long visit where they were given a security briefing.

“The beauty of the timing of this visit, we wanted it to happen well before we were faced with a key decision,” Roberts said. “… 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 a couple of months before the tour,” he said. “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.”

When asked if Australia would again tour Pakistan, Roberts said, “I hope so. I really hope we do for the sake of world cricket and Australia’s important relationship with Pakistan.”

“As I said to Pakistan, we share their desire for international cricket to return to their country,” Roberts said

“We have got the next couple of years to hopefully plan for a tour in 2022 but we have just got to step that out gently, bit by bit, rather than rushing into it,” he added.

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