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Pakistan trip not a worry for Ben Cutting

Ben Cutting hopes Australia are cleared to tour Pakistan next year, when he will return to the cricket-loving nation for another stop on the Twenty20 circuit.

Cricket Australia (CA) recently conducted a reconnaissance trip to Pakistan ahead of a tour slated for March, when Justin Langer’s side are poised to play three Tests and four white-ball matches.

If the trip proceeds it will mark Australia’s first cricket tour of the country since 1998.

Pakistan has hosted the majority of its cricket in the UAE since the 2009 armed attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.

Cutting is one Australian to have repeatedly visited Pakistan in recent years, having joined Tim Paine and George Bailey in a World XI for an exhibition T20 series in 2017.

The Sydney Thunder allrounder is poised to link up with Peshawar Zalmi for the next edition of the Pakistan Super League, most likely flying out a day after his BBL campaign ends.

“Not once have I been worried about the security side of things,” Cutting told AAP.

“The second visit I was more worried about COVID than anything else because that was kicking off.

“I hope the Aussie boys get to tour there.

“The locals would certainly love that.

“They’re just so passionate. They get massive crowds for games and if one of the best teams in the world, like Australia, are playing they’d absolutely love it.”

Cutting’s immediate focus is on his side’s New Year’s Eve clash with Adelaide Strikers, and pushing for a BBL title.

The 34-year-old, among several Australians hoping for good news in next month’s IPL ‘mega auction’, will soon map out a plan for his T20 commitments in 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the life of T20 guns for hire in several aspects.

Cutting remains keen to stay on the T20 circuit, but admitted the biosecurity bubble lifestyle can “certainly grind you down”.

“If you’re lucky enough to get picked up (in the IPL), fantastic. If not, you get a bit of time at home, which is fleeting,” he said.

The Thunder will look to prized recruit Saqib Mahmood to fire at Adelaide Oval, extending a hot start to his debut BBL season.

Cutting admitted he was surprised England’s Test selectors overlooked Mahmood this summer.

“It’s probably only a matter of time until he joins their Test squad,” he said.

“You never know (when) in this current environment. You’ve always got to be on stand by.

“He’s done so well for us. He swings the ball early and can bowl fantastically well at the death.”

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