Australian spinner Mitch Swepson excited and nervous about Pakistan tour
Australian spinner Mitch Swepson would love to book his ticket on the tour to Pakistan in March but admits there is a degree of apprehension regarding security in the subcontinental country.
The tour is set to be Australia’s first to Pakistan for 24 years, with three Test matches, three one-dayers and a Twenty20 match slated to take place over five weeks.
Australia has only participated in “away” tours against Pakistan at neutral venues in Sri Lanka and the UAE since 1998 due to civil unrest.
A terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Pakistan in 2009 led to almost no international cricket for a decade in Pakistan, with Zimbabwe’s two-match T20 series in 2015 the only series to be staged there in that period.
The West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and South Africa have all toured Pakistan since 2018, but New Zealand cancelled their scheduled T20 series there in September due to a security threat.
“We’ve been fed bits and pieces of information on security and what it’s been like,” Swepson said.
“There’s been a few tours I think over the last couple of years there with other countries so they’re feeding off that.
“At the end of the day, there’s guys behind the scenes doing all the work to make sure it’s safe to go and I’m sure they won’t put us at risk if it’s not safe so we’ve got to trust those guys that are doing that job.”
Swepson said peace of mind while touring Pakistan would be paramount, with the spectre of COVID looming as well.
“You don’t want to have anything hanging over the back of your head while you want to be over there and perform and be in the right mental space,” he said.
“You almost forget about COVID, it just adds another layer, doesn’t it? It’ll be a handful definitely, but it will just be interesting to see how it pans out.
“Just excited about going somewhere else, somewhere new.”
Swepson, who was part of the recent Ashes squad but failed to play a game, was hopeful that the spinner-friendly conditions in Pakistan would finally lead to his Test debut.
“It would be awesome,” said Swepson.
“Obviously didn’t get quite the conditions in the Ashes series to play a second spinner and that’s the way it is.
“Tough team to crack into so hopefully there’s some spicy conditions for spinners when we go to Pakistan and hopefully I can get an opportunity over there.
“I’m just really excited again to be around the group and I don’t want to get my hopes up too much but it would be great to get a game.
“As a spinner I’m excited get over there and see some spinning decks.”
Originally published as Australian spinner Mitch Swepson excited and nervous about Pakistan tour
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