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Australia tour of Pakistan

CA chief hopeful of Pakistan tour but won't rush in decision making

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts is hopeful that Australia will tour Pakistan in 2022 but won't rush in making this decision.

Australia haven't played in Pakistan since 1998 citing security concerns.

Roberts had visited Islamabad in May where he was briefed about the security situation in Pakistan.

He insisted that touring Pakistan was a key decision and wanted to assess everything before moving forward.

"The beauty of the timing of this visit, we wanted it to happen well before we were faced with a key decision," Roberts told SEN on Thursday.

"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.

"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."

Asked if Australia would like to play cricket in 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.

"[But] we will never jeopardise the safety of our people and we will keep taking advice from experts on the way.

"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."

Australia are scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is in Pakistan from late February 2022.

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