Australian players concerned about possible terrorist attacks in Pakistan ahead of tour

Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday that the current wave of terrorism has increased by about 35 percent to 38 percent since August 15, when Taliban fighters invaded the Afghan capital, Kabul, last year.

The Express Tribune released a report from the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), claiming the country witnessed a 56 percent increase in militant attacks last year, despite a month-long ceasefire by the Pakistani Taliban .

This was after a consistent decline in militant attacks over the past six years.

PICSS statistics show that in 2021 the militants carried out 294 attacks that killed 395 people, including 186 civilians and 192 security forces. Express Tribune reported.

Usman Khawaja will return to his homeland – if the tour continues. Credit:Getty

“At least 629 people were injured, including 400 civilians and 217 security forces. Pakistani security forces also killed 188 militants during the year and arrested at least 222 suspected militants.”

The Australian chairman of selectors, George Bailey, was reassured by the briefings with two players and support staff he attended.

“The security sounds very, very robust and very, very thorough,” Bailey said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia announced a roster for next month’s Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in Australia on Tuesday, but delayed announcing a preliminary roster for the Pakistan tour.

Bailey said details of the tour are still being finalized.

Four players who were not part of Australia’s successful T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE last October have been included in a 16-man squad for a five-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka.

Travis Head was chosen after being a player of the Ashes along with Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques, Big Bash player of the year Ben McDermott and Jhye Richardson.

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David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, are rested while leg spinner Mitchell Swepson is left out.

Games will be played in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne from 11 to 20 February.

Australian Team: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade , Adam Zampa.

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