Australian cricket fans 'loving' their time in Rawalpindi, say Pakistan's famed friendliness is real

Published March 5, 2022
Australian cricket fans in the crowd for the first Test against Australia at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Friday. — Photo by author
Australian cricket fans in the crowd for the first Test against Australia at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Friday. — Photo by author

The Australian team’s historic tour of Pakistan has the local cricket lovers excited for obvious reasons but even their enthusiasm fades in comparison to a group of diehards that has travelled all the way from Australia to see their beloved team battle it out with Babar Azam's men on Pakistan soil after more than 23 years.

Edward Hill, a part of a group of five Australian fans currently in Rawalpindi, was asked how he was liking his time in Pakistan.

"I love it. I have been thinking about coming to Pakistan since 1998. I have heard this for many, many years that the Pakistani people are the most friendly in the world and I have witnessed that now."

"I just love being in Pakistan ... it's just a dream to come here. Everyone's so friendly," he added in a separate video.

He also thanked series sponsors TikTok for arranging tickets for the entire touring party for the whole of the series after they found out upon landing in Pakistan that the tickets for the first two days of the opening Test were already sold out.

"I'm here for the first time in a long time to see the boys play [against] Pakistan," said Ben Lancaster, who is from Tamworth in Australia, while Brisbane native Timothy Smith said that he had "been waiting 24 years to come to Pakistan".

Of the decision to come and support Australia in Pakistan, Hill said that there were a lot of unknowns before the group unanimously decided to make the trip to see where things go from there. "When the visas came through, we said to ourselves 'Yup, it's on!'"

Hill said that the group was planning to travel to Karachi and Lahore as well for the other two Tests of the series, adding that most of the members of their group would fly back home before the One-Day International series.

When asked if he would like to visit the northern areas of the country, Hill said that he knew that Gilgit was one of the most beautiful places in the world, but the weather was too cold for him to be visiting the mountainous areas.

Pakistan is hosting Australia for the first time in 24 years. The National Command and Operation Centre had okayed the Pakistan Cricket Board to allow 100 per cent crowds in attendance for the game, resulting in fans purchasing the tickets for the first game in large numbers.

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