After a gap of 24 years, the Australian Cricket team has finally started the Australia Vs Pakistan Test series by bowling first in the fully fledged bilateral test series. The hosting team won the toss and batted, leading to a colorful start.
As the Prime Minister Imran Khan led nation is hit by constant terror attacks, none of the countries till date, including Pakistan’s neighboring nations such as Sri Lanka and India have taken part in big leagues- especially after the 2009 terror attack by a bomb on the Sri Lankan teams’ touring bus.
Ending the long wait, the Australian cricket team stepped into the country last month to play 3 tests, and 3 one-day international games along with a one-of Twenty20 in six-week tour of Pakistan.
Pakistani Officials have revealed that the guest nation has been granted a state guest honor as a part of which it will give security privileges on par with the world leaders like PM and the President.
Reports are in that a two-tire security cover has been provided to the visitors who will be constantly under vigil of 4,219 police officers, 320 specially trained combat soldiers and around 32 commandos trained and equipped with automatic weapons. The arrangements don’t end here, as two helicopters will also follow the bus through air to shield the touring kangaroos from any kind of local or international threats.
Cricketers from the Australia will be driven in two separate routes to the Rawalpindi stadium and back to the hotel. And if anything happens suddenly, there is a Plan B to send them by air within minutes.
Interestingly, Omar Saeed, the police officer working for the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, is also ready with an evacuation plan if the situation demands.
Nearby, shops and offices will be closed during the match days to ensure highest security at the behest and security cars along with armed guards will always be doing rounds of the stadium to avoid any crowds or traffic jams.
Imran Khan, who led Pakistan in many cricketing tournaments in 80s-90swants to give the best to the Australian team in a hope that it will induce confidence into other western nations such as England and New Zealand that canceled a cricket tour last year, because of indefinite security threats that erupted from the Taliban’s war with Afganistan.
Note 1- For Pakistan, the sport of cricket is a religion and, like its neighboring nations, nurtures lots of local talent by arranging government funded cricketing tournaments at state and national level from time to time.
Note 2- Currently, the entire touring cricket team of Australia (including those outside the playing XI) are seen wearing black armbands during the first test to reckon the death of former wicket keeper Rod Marsh,73, who died in Queensland, last week.