Credited to the incredibly hard work of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it was also an experience in which I always felt safe.
This season reached its crescendo in a final in front of a packed crowd at the National Stadium in Karachi, which we then won by eight wickets against rivals Peshawar Zalmi. Running a lap of honor after the match in front of a stadium full of such passionate fans was, without a doubt, one of the best moments I have ever had in cricket. He will stay with me all my life.
That said, I understand that there are significant differences between traveling as an individual athlete and as a member of a national team.
As President of the Australian Cricketers Association, I have been involved in consultations regarding the tour, including briefings on a pre-tour visit to Pakistan in December last year. The arrangements in place, which will continue, are the best standards in the world. Cricket Australia had to approve the tour.
Aside from the PSL, cricket fans in Pakistan have been deprived of world class cricket. It’s not just an important tour of Australia, but a special moment for cricket.
The fact that Todd Greenberg and Nick Hockley – the CEOs of the ACA and Cricket Australia respectively – are traveling with the team demonstrates that players and team staff are not being asked to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do it themselves. It’s a great proof of confidence.
Like the players, I’m sure Pakistan will be the experience of a lifetime for them and the series – a contest between two great cricketing nations – will have been well worth the 24-year wait.
Shane Watson is a former All-Round Australian Test player and the President of the Australian Cricketers Association.
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