LAHORE: Mohammad Rizwan, the winner of PCB’s most valuable cricketer of 2021 award, has welcomed the statements of Australian cricketers, former players and broadcasters looking forward to touring Pakistan.
Australia are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and a T20 International in March-April. All three Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the three ODIs are part of ICC World Cup Super League. This will be their first tour to Pakistan in 24 years.
Rizwan, 29, said his energy is already bouncing off the walls to face a competitive side like Australia at home.
“I can feel ripples of excitement for Australia’s tour of Pakistan,” Rizwan said here on Thursday.
“I have read some very positive remarks from the stakeholders in Australia about the tour to Pakistan. The entire nation of Pakistan is ready to welcome Australia for the historic tour after 24 years.”
The wicket-keeper/batsman is convinced that a strong bond between cricketers of both nations will further magnify the excitement of this notable tour.
“Both nations share a strong connection. Australian cricketers like Usman Khawaja participates in the HBL PSL, and our players [Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain] recently featured in the 2021-22 Big Bash League. This further strengthens the bond between the two countries,” he underlined.
“Matthew Hayden, who was Pakistan team’s batting consultant [for this year’s] ICC T20 World Cup, passionately shared his views about Pakistan. Similarly, the love and admiration in the eyes of Justin Langer [Australia head coach] was prominent for Pakistan when I met him at the T20 World Cup semi-final of the global event in Dubai.”
Speaking about the competitiveness of the series, Rizwan, who made a world record for most T20 International runs last year, said: “Australia have recently won the Ashes and they are a strong side, but we have also had a tremendous year and have shined brightly across all formats. These two teams make the perfect recipe for a thrilling and exciting series.”
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2022