Following a blast targeting an Imambargah in Peshawar, Australian coach Andrew McDonald has assuaged concerns about the safety of the visiting Australian cricket team, assuring that the team is in “really good hands”
“For us we’d be guided by our security team. We’re in really, really good hands, we have been since the guys landed. So we’ll be guided by those people, the experts in the field […] if anything were to change, clearly they will be able to be talking about (that),” the coach said, expressing his condolences with the people of Peshawar.
Within hours of the first test match in Rawalpindi, a suicide bombing killed at least 56 Shia worshippers in Peshawar, 140 kilometres north of where the Australian cricket team is staying in Islamabad.
For first time in nearly a quarter century, the Australian team will be playing test cricket series during a six week tour in Pakistan. The first series, which runs from March 4 to March 8, will take place in Rawalpindi, before moving to Karachi for the second test match on March 12-16 and Lahore for the third test match on March 21-25. Three ODIs and one T20 will then be held again in Rawalpindi.
Security is being provided by the Pakistan Army, and an additional 4,000 police personnel have been deployed to guard the team.
The series’ organisers hope that the successful tour will bring international cricket back to Pakistan, which had been largely absent following the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009 which killed eight people.