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Top Australian cricketers could skip Pakistan tour due to security concerns

The Kangaroos are scheduled to begin their tour of Pakistan with the first Test at Karachi's National Stadium on March 3

Star Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, a veteran of 56 Tests, said on Wednesday that he would not be surprised if some Aussie players pull out of upcoming Test series in Pakistan due to security concerns.

Australia is scheduled to play three Tests, three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international in their first visit to Pakistan in 24 years.

The Kangaroos will begin their tour with the first Test at Karachi's National Stadium on March 3.

Hazlewood, who had missed a major chunk of the Ashes series due to an injury, told Cricket Australia website that some players may opt out of the tour as the decision to travel to Pakistan will be left up to individuals.

"There's a lot of things in place and there's been a lot of work in the background by CA and the ACA," he told Cricket.com.au.

"So the trust is quite high there from the players, but there'd certainly be some concerns from the players and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them don't make the tour.

"And that's very fair. People will discuss it with their families … and come up with an answer and everyone respects that," he added.

Last September, minutes before the toss of first ODI in Rawalpindi, the New Zealand cricket team had abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.

The side was to play Pakistan in three ODIs in Rawalpindi before moving to Lahore for a five match T20 series.

However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it decided to not continue with the tour and left for Dubai en route to home immediately.

The New Zealand cricket board announced recently that the Blackcaps will now tour Pakistan twice – in December 2022-January 2023 to play two Tests and three ODIs before returning in April for five ODIs and five T20s.

Also Read: Massive blow to Pakistan cricket as New Zealand team abandons tour due to security alert