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Friday Mar 04 2022
By
Reuters

Peshawar blast: Australia coach Andrew McDonald says team in 'really, really good hands'

By
Reuters
Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins (R) speaks with coach Andrew McDonald (L) during their final practice session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on February 25, 2022. — AFP
Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins (R) speaks with coach Andrew McDonald (L) during their final practice session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on February 25, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Hours after a blast in Peshawar which killed 57 people and injured more than 200, Australia coach Andrew McDonald said that his team is in “really, really good hands” and will make all decisions based on experts' opinions. 

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, which is one of the deadliest in years.

"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.