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Cricket Australia confirm first Pakistan tour in 24 years


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SYDNEY (AFP):- Cricket Australia on Friday confirmed its first tour of Pakistan since 1998, locking in a three-Test series despite lingering security concerns.

Australia will play Tests — in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore — fresh off the back of a comprehensive home Ashes victory against England.

They will also play three one day internationals and a T20 capping the month-long tour on April 5.

“The tour will proceed for the first time in 24 years. This is a historic occasion and important for the global growth and health of the game,” said Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley.

The tour will be a huge boost for Pakistan, which was hit hard when New Zealand and England abandoned recent tours over security concerns

Cricket-mad Pakistan has struggled to entice foreign sides back after home internationals were suspended after a deadly terror attack on the Sri Lanka Test side in 2009.

Pakistan were forced to play their home international matches abroad — mostly in the United Arab Emirates — until 2015, when normal service tentatively resumed.

“We are looking forward to an exciting series between two world-class teams,” said Hockley.

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