Lahore Qalandars’ hard-hitting middle-order batsman Ben Dunk has urged the Australian cricket team to tour Pakistan, after witnessing the top-notch security arrangements during the ongoing Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five.
While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Dunk, who has played five T20Is for Australia, said that it is up to the two boards, Cricket Australia and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), to work things out in this regard.
“The security has been top-notch here and there is no reason why the Australian team should not visit Pakistan,” said Dunk. “I guess it will be up to the two boards to figure out when and where that should take place.”
“Growing up I saw Shoaib Akhtar come up against Ricky Ponting and I would love to see similar duels here in Pakistan as well,” he added.
The left-hander was also optimistic about his team’s chances of winning this year’s HBL PSL.
“We are here to win the tournament,” said Dunk. “We understand that in the past Lahore have not got the results they wanted but this a different team and it is a new year. We have got a great group of guys and a very talented squad so if we can get everyone firing at the right time, there is no reason why we can’t go all the way.”
Dunk, who has already twice played a key role in Qalandars’ victories so far this season, also said that he wanted to prove a point with his batting.
“Every time you are an overseas player coming into competition anywhere in the world, you have a point to prove. Coaches and owners have selected you for a reason and you need to go out there and prove that your selection was worthwhile,” he said.
He also appreciated the support from the fans, who came to watch the matches in large numbers, throughout the tournament.
“The fans have been really patient, especially when we did not perform well in the first three games, but hopefully now they can get behind us and get us over the line,” he said.
“It [the ground atmosphere in Lahore] has been amazing and in fairness the crowds throughout the country in PSL have been great. To see so many fans coming into the ground and witness their passion is really nice,” he added.
The 32-year-old also backed Lahore’s young captain Sohail Akhtar especially due to the presence of experienced players around him.
“He [Sohail Akhtar] is a new captain but we have an incredibly experienced bunch of players around him. Hafeez and Lynn have played so much cricket and I’m also starting to rack up quite a few games. Samit Patel, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Shinwari aand Haris Rauf have all played international cricket as well,” he said. “So, although, he is a new captain but he has a lot of experience around to help him.”