Australia and Pakistan are currently battling it out at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in the opening fixture of their historic Test series. However, a terror attack has rocked Pakistan on day one of the match.
According to reports from local media, at least 30 people were killed and 56 were left wounded in a huge blast at a Shiite mosque in Peshawar on Friday (March 4). The major terror attack took place two hours west of Rawalpindi, where Australia are taking on the hosts in the first Test of the three-match series.
It is worth mentioning that this is Australia’s first tour of Pakistan in 24 years. Authorities have deployed over 4000 security personnel to provide safety for the historic Test.
The two teams have been traveling in armored busses, while the roads have been blocked for private vehicles. Furthermore, there is a tight security ring surrounding the team hotels, including snipers on rooftops and bomb dogs.
While the hosts have left no stone unturned in providing tight security to the touring party, it remains to be seen if the recent terror attack will have any impact on their scheduled matches. The visiting side are scheduled to play two more Tests followed by three ODIs and a one-off T20I.
Speaking to the media, SSP Operations Haroon Rasheed Khan confirmed that the explosion in Peshawar was a suicide blast. He revealed that there were two attackers in the mosque, from which one was a suicide bomber.
“This tour sends out a strong and positive message to the entire world” – Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Faisal Hasnain
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, PCB CEO Faisal Hasnain mentioned that Australia touring Pakistan for a cricket series will send out a strong message to the world.
He also expressed confidence about the Aussie team leaving the tour with fond memories. Faisal Hasnain said:
“This tour sends out a strong and a positive message to the entire world. I’m confident that when the Australian team returns home, they will leave with fond memories, and they all hopefully will become ambassadors of Pakistan.”
Teams such as New Zealand and England had canceled their respective tours to the country. While the Kiwis had abandoned their tour on the morning of the first game due to security concerns, England cited concerns over the mental and physical wellbeing of their players for backing out.