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AUS VS PAK | Wouldn’t be surprised if some players don’t go to Pakistan, says Josh Hazelwood

Josh Hazelwood has recently said that it wouldn’t be surprising for him if some Australian players opt out of his side’s tour to Pakistan due to security concerns in the Asian country. The Australia tour of Pakistan, which begins on March 3 includes three Tests, three ODIs and a single T20I fixture.

Australia recently claimed a resounding 4-0 victory in the Ashes 2021-2022 after a dominating performance against England.  Australia also won the T20 World Cup 2021, and the team are currently in a strong position in all formats of the game with their strong squad. After the five-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan will host Australia for a multi-format series, which will begin from March 3.

However, reports have suggested that a few Australian players might not be ready to tour Pakistan due to security concerns. England and New Zealand had cancelled their tours to Pakistan last year citing security reasons.

Australia’s upcoming tour to Pakistan is their first tour to the country since 1988. Reflecting on the series against Pakistan, Josh Hazelwood has said that he wouldn’t be surprised if a few of his teammates opt-out from the trip due to security concerns. 

“There’s a lot of things in place and there’s been a lot of work in the background by CA and the ACA. So the trust is quite high there from the players, but there’d certainly be some concerns from the players and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them didn’t make the tour,” Hazlewood said to cricket.com.au.

“And that’s very fair. People will discuss it with their families … and come up with an answer and everyone respects that,” he added.

Australia are scheduled to play three Test matches as well as three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one T20 game during the series against Pakistan. The first Test match will be played in Karachi on March 3 before the series moves to Rawalpindi for the second red-ball fixture on March 12. The final Test match of the three-match series will begin on March 21. The ODIs and the one-off T20 game will be played from March 29 to April 5 in Lahore. 

Hazlewood only featured in the first Ashes Test and missed the remaining series due to a side strain. Hazelwood reckoned that his injury was a usual one, and he is fit and ready for the upcoming matches. 

“If I’d had a normal (side strain), a big injury and you know you’re going to be out, then you can deal with it all at once. But it just kept teasing, kept teasing, I might be able to play this one, I might be able to play that one,” Hazelwood said.

“I’ve certainly had a typical side strain, where you tear your oblique (muscle), you can’t bowl another ball and are out for at least six or seven weeks. This one was different … the strength came back really quickly, and I could do a lot of things in the gym. It was just bowling, that dynamic movement, that caused a bit of grief. It was an unusual one,” he added.

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