No surprise if some players skip Pakistan tour over security fears: Josh Hazlewood

Feb 2, 2022: According to a report by Reuters, Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood said he would not be surprised if security fears prompt some players to opt out of the upcoming Pakistan tour, even as he himself eyes a comeback to the national side after recovering from injury.

Australia’s first tour of Pakistan in 24 years is coming up in March and the sides are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20 starting March 3. A media report last week said that many in the Australian camp were worried about whether Pakistan would be safe for travel.

Hazlewood said Cricket Australia’s reassurances had allayed his concerns. Hazlewood told, “There’s a lot going on here and a lot of work in the background … so the players have a lot of confidence…But there will definitely be some concerns from the players and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them don’t tour.”

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

31 year old Hazlewood, a member of the 16-member Australian squad for the five-match Twenty20 home series against Sri Lanka starting February 11, had been ruled out of all matches except the first Test of the recent Ashes series because of a puzzling injury resulting in a side strain.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Hazlewood took 215 Test wickets at an average of 25 runs per wicket, and is a part of Australia’s three-pronged attack with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. But now he will have to take his Test place back from Scott Boland, who took 18 wickets in three Tests, including six for seven in his second innings of his debut.

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