Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the Pakistan Interior Minister, said that foolproof security arrangements are in place for the upcoming series between Australia and Pakistan. He mentioned that the Pakistan army, police and rangers have been deployed for ensuring security during the international games. Ahmed had a chat to the media personnel after reviewing the arrangements at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
The opening Test is scheduled to get underway on Friday, March 4 in Rawalpindi. The National Stadium in Karachi and the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will host the other two Test matches from March 12 and March 21 respectively. Thereafter, the venue in Rawalpindi will host the three-match ODI series and the only T20I.
Ministers wary about security in Australia Pakistan series
From 2009 onwards since the bus attack on the Sri Lanka team, sides have been reluctant to tour Pakistan. However, since 2015, teams have started to tour the Asian country. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) used to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before being shifted to Pakistan completely for the last two seasons.
But back in September 2021, Pakistan cricket took a backward step after New Zealand backed off from their tour. Hours before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi, the Black Caps pulled out, citing ‘security concerns’. After the incident, England also refused to send their teams to Pakistan. The entire Pakistan cricket fraternity and PCB chairman Ramiz Raja were enraged.
Ahead of the Australia series, various Pakistan ministers have talked about proper security arrangements to be in place. Raja Basharat, the Punjab Minister for Law, urged the district administration to not compromise on security.
“All arrangements should also be made up to the mark so that the visiting team can be made aware of the hospitality of Pakistanis,” he stated.
“The return of international cricket to the country was good for us and it is high time to show the world that we provide secure environment to the people,” he added.
During the matches, a Bomb Disposal Squad will also be present at the venues. Fire brigade vehicles and first aid ambulances will also be available at all times during the series. The Australian team has already reached Pakistan for the series.