Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was saddened to see full-fledged international cricket returning to Pakistan as he headed to Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium to watch Friday’s action live from the stands. Pakistan hosted Australia in an international match for the first time in 24 years as the two sides began the first of a three-Test series earlier in the day.
Taking to social media, Shoaib Akhtar shared a video of himself stuck in traffic on his way to Rawalpndi Cricket Stadium. Tight security was in place as Australia’s arrival marked the return of full-fledged international cricket to Pakistan.
Pakistan vs Australia 1st day of testing 1 live updates
“I’m going to Pindi Stadium after a very long time. I’m very happy. The last time I played here, I didn’t go to the stadium to watch a game afterwards,” Akhtar said in a video.
Akhtar also thanked the Australian and Pakistani Cricket Boards for making the tour possible, adding that this was the first time since his playing days that he had visited Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium to watch an international cricket match from the seen from the grandstand.
I am very excited to see Test cricket at the highest level in my city of Rawalpindi.
We will join you all in welcoming Australia to our grounds. #Cricket #Pakistan #Australia pic.twitter.com/UR7aOKgNsI
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) March 4, 2022
Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998 when they won the Test series 1-0 while also winning all matches in the limited-over series. Pakistan has struggled to attract visiting teams since a deadly terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team’s bus in 2009, and Australia pulled out of a tour five years earlier after a suicide bombing at a church in Lahore.
Pakistan has hosted Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and South Africa for the past six years, but Australia are the first top-flight team to tour Pakistan for a full-fledged bilateral series.
Pakistan won the throw on Day 1 of the first Test, choosing to bat. The hosts dominated the Aussie attack with the racquet and went past 150 before tea on Friday.
While Abdullah Shafique had 44 points before being sent off by Nathan Lyon, Australia’s only spinner in the first Test, Imam-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 90 points and had solid company from Azhar Ali before the two teams went to the tea break went.
Australia will contest a total of 3 tests, as many ODIS and a one-off T20I on its historic tour of Pakistan.