ISLAMABAD: The Australia cricket team touring Pakistan will be guided by security experts, coach Andrew McDonald said on Friday, after at least 56 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque in the country.
The success of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan in 24 years could potentially lead to regular visits by top teams who have largely shunned the South Asian country since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.
Hours after the six-week tour got underway with the opening Test in Rawalpindi, the bombing took place in Peshawar, some 140 kilometres (87 miles) from where the Australia team are staying in Islamabad.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest in years on Pakistan’s Shi’ite minority which has long been targeted by Sunni Muslim Islamist militants.
“Our thoughts are obviously with the people in Peshawar,” McDonald said after the opening day’s play in Rawalpindi.
“For us we’d be guided by our security team.
“We’re in really really good hands we have been since the guys landed. So we’ll be guided by those people, the experts in the field…
“If anything were to change, clearly they will be able to be talking about (that),” the coach added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has arranged presidential-style security for the entire tour which also includes Test matches in Karachi and Lahore followed by four limited-overs matches in Rawalpindi.
Earlier on Friday, PCB chief executive Faisal Hasnain hoped Australia’s tour of Pakistan would encourage major cricket nations to shed their apprehensions and visit the country.

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