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Australian cricket team feeling safe after landing in Pakistan

Pat Cummins says he feels “incredibly safe” after touching down in Pakistan on Sunday for Australia’s first tour of the country in 24 years.

Cummins will lead Australia in an overseas Test match for the first time when they take on the hosts in Rawalpindi next Friday.

The Test is the first of three, before a trio of One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International.

Touring Pakistan has been fraught with danger since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

But Cummins, who will lead a strong Australia side on the back of their successful Ashes campaign, said the players’ concerns had been allayed by a delegation from Cricket Australia ensuring appropriate safety standards were met.

“I feel incredibly safe and we’ve been really well looked after by the Pakistan Cricket Board,” Cummins said.

“There’s been lots of security upon arrival. We were straight off the plane and straight to the hotel.

“We’ve got a pretty good set-up and we’ll be confined to the hotel except for games and training.

“We’ve travelled to places like India where you don’t leave the hotel too much so we are used to it.

“It’s comforting and we’re really lucky to be surrounded by so many professionals.

“One of the factors we wanted to be really thorough on before arriving here was not only security but also biosecurity.

“Everyone has done a fantastic job, so we can just concentrate on cricket and really enjoy our first tour here for 24 years.”

Australia’s players must isolate for the 24 hours following their arrival but can hit the training ground on Monday provided they do not test positive for COVID-19.

Cummins said he felt privileged to play a Test series in Pakistan when so many greats of the game in Australia hadn’t been afforded that opportunity.

“We feel lucky to get to come back here after a whole generation didn’t get the chance to play any cricket over here,” Cummins said.

“I think it (Pakistan) has slowly had more cricket here. George Bailey, our selector, came and played a couple of games a few years ago.

“The Pakistan Super League has also been hugely successful. We’re fortunate that they (Pakistan) have come to play us in Australia and it’s great we can return the favour.”

Cummins’ side have been boosted by the inclusion of Pakistani-born Australian international Fawad Ahmed as a spin bowling consultant.

Ahmed has been playing in the PSL with Lahore Qalandars.

“He’s got a wealth of experience here and he knows the venues quite well and he’s always great fun for the group,” Cummins said.

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