Australian cricket team will tour Pakistan next year for the first time since 1998, visiting from March to April for Tests, One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 match, announced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.

The three Tests will take place in Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, while all four white-ball matches will be played in Punjab’s provincial capital.

The Test series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

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PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja was delighted over the announcement that is being seen as a huge boost for Pakistan cricket after New Zealand and England cancelled tours in September citing security concerns.

“I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan. From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we’ll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight.

"Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans," said Raja in a statement.

“Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore.”

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Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Nick Hockley said that the cricket board is “excited about the prospect of touring Pakistan” next year.

“It will be a highly anticipated series in a country so incredibly passionate about the game and their national team. Pakistan is a formidable opposition with an exceptionally talented team, as evidenced by their dynamic performances in the current ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE.”

He thanked the PCB for its efforts to plan the tour and said he looked forward to working closely with PCB over the coming months to finalise the necessary operations, logistics, and security and Covid-19 protocols.

“The safety and welfare of our players and staff remain our number one priority, and we will continue to work with the PCB and relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate and sufficient arrangements are put in place for the tour.”

Australia beat Pakistan 1-0 in a three-test series the last time they toured the country. Pakistan have since played their 'home' tests against Australia in the United Arab Emirates.

The two teams are scheduled to face each other in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup on November 11 in Dubai.

Schedule of matches:

1st Test, Karachi - March 3-7

2nd Test, Rawalpindi - March 12-16

3rd Test, Lahore - March 21-25

1st ODI, Lahore - March 29

2nd ODI, Lahore - March 31

3rd ODI, Lahore - April 2

T20I, Lahore - April 5


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