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Pakistan host one of Big Three nations for an all-format series for first time after 2009 attack


Abdul Majid March 03, 2022
PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

KARACHI:

Pakistan, after a long and distraught spell of cricketing lows and lack of international matches at home ground, has now returned to normality, all thanks to one of the Big Three teams, Australia, touring the country for an all-format series.

After the horrifying scenes of 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team bus, no one had thought that cricket would be able to dock on the shores of Pakistan ever again. Even more so, no one had thought that to bring cricket back to Pakistan, a domestic T20 league would play such a big role.

When Pakistan launched the HBL Pakistan Super League in 2016, people thought that Pakistan were late to the party of launching a T20 league, but the recent and seventh edition proved that in terms of cricketing quality, HBL PSL is amongst the best, if not the best.

Meanwhile, Pakistan national team has also been on a roll since the arrival of Babar Azam as the captain and only one example is enough to highlight the highs that the men’s team has seen in the last year and that is the 10-wicket defeat handed to India in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

And a cherry on top, three Pakistani male players were awarded top ICC awards in the year 2021. Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan won the T20I Player of the Year award, skipper Babar Azam was named the ODI Player of the Year, while pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was given the Cricketer of the Year title.

All these achievements and great results on the field have turned heads and now all the teams would be looking to play Pakistan in order to better their game. Pakistan are on the rise in international cricket and everyone would want to get a piece of them.

Australia and Pakistan play their first Test in Rawalpindi, starting March 4. The three-match Test series will be followed by three ODIs and one-off T20I. Pakistan had to wait 24 years for one of cricket’s giants to land in the country to play a full series, and this was only possible due to the HBL PSL making headlines across the globe that it is safe to visit the Men in Green’s homeland.

All Pakistan have to do now is beat Australia at their home turf to make a case that if others can bag points for World Test Championship and for ODI and T20I rankings through home advantage, Babar and co can now do that too, through matches in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi.

There is no doubt that the cricket-hungry and cricket-crazy fans of Pakistan will enjoy the matches on their home grounds, and with that they will give Australia a different and better taste of hospitality, unlike any other the Kangaroos would have seen across the globe.

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