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  • Michael Warren

    TropicNow reporter

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    Pakistan coach key to Cairns cricket coup

    Local cricket fans get the chance to see a legend of the game in action at Cazalys this December.

    Cairns cricket fans will have the chance to watch one of Test cricket’s most successful and enduring players in December and they might just have a South African to thank for it.

    TropicNow understands it was former South Africa, Australia and now Pakistan Test coach Mickey Arthur who gave final approval for the day-night tour match between Pakistan and Australia A to go ahead at Cazalys from 8-10 December.

    In a coup for Cairns, Pakistan Test great Younis Khan is expected to play against Australia A with the visitors to use the fixture as preparation for the first Test against Australia at the Gabba on December 15.

    Khan is Pakistan’s greatest Test run scorer and the only player from his country to pass 9000 Test runs. He also holds the records for most Test centuries by a Pakistani cricketer.

    “Pakistan didn’t make a decision about playing in Cairns until Mickey Arthur was appointed their coach,” Cricket Australia operations manager Sean Cary told TropicNow.

    “Mickey has an acute understanding of our cities and general cricket conditions and knew his team would benefit by playing a tour game in Far North Queensland in the lead in to the opening Test of the summer.

    “Playing in Cairns will allow Pakistan a chance to acclimatise to our general playing conditions and things like humidity which is something they’ll likely encounter in Brisbane during the first Test.

    “We proposed this opportunity to them some time ago. They had some time to think about it with Mickey and they soon came back keen to play the first class match in Cairns.”

    Cazalys is no stranger to international cricket having hosted winter Tests between Australia and Bangladesh in 2003 and Sri Lanka the following year.

    Pakistan won’t entirely come into the first ever day/night Test at the Gabba underdone. They will play the second ever day/night Test against the West Indies in the UAE in the coming days.

    That follow’s the first ever day/night Test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last November.
    In addition, England has confirmed it will play its first ever day/night Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston next August.