Australia Set To Play Pakistan In The Benaud-Qadir Trophy

Australia Set To Play Pakistan In The Benaud-Qadir Trophy

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03 Mar 2022
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Australia vs Pakistan

Australia’s historic tour of Pakistan will take on new significance after the announcement that the two countries would play for the inaugural Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

The Benaud-Qadir Trophy, named after Australia’s Richie Benaud and Pakistan’s Abdul Qadir, was inaugurated at the Pindi Cricket Stadium prior to the first Test by Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia captain Pat Cummins.

Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir, both late leg-spinners, were two of the best players of their respective teams.

When Benaud presented his best XI in 2004, he named Qadir as one of his three greatest spin bowlers, along with Shane Warne and Bill O’Reilly.

Benaud was the leading scorer in Australia’s first Test in Pakistan in 1956, the country’s first in Asia. When Australia returned in 1959, he was captain for the first time, and the tourists triumphed 1-0.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s and 1980s, Qadir was renowned as the “magician” and was instrumental in restoring the forgotten skill of leg-spin bowling. Qadir got 45 wickets in 11 Tests against Australia, including 33 wickets in two distinct Test series in 1982 and 1988.

The series is the first to be played on Pakistani soil since 1998, when Mark Taylor’s side won a memorable 1-0 series victory.

Cummins stated that the present group felt honoured to be the first Australian touring party in almost two decades.

“To be able to compete for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy for the first time is a huge honour,” said Cummins.

“As current players, we really are standing on the shoulders of these greats of the past who helped to grow and popularise the game in years gone by, and if my team can collect that trophy at the end of this series then it really would be the perfect end to the Test part of this historic tour.”

Babar also emphasised the need of recognising and respecting the achievements of the game’s greats, and he noted: “The game is today healthy, wealthy and strong because of such individuals and their legacy, as such, we must always recognise and acknowledge their contributions and services.”

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