Sports World

Pakistan, Australia cricket matches moved from Rawalpindi to Lahore amid political turmoil

Three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and a Twenty20 match between Pakistan and the visiting Australians later this month have been moved from Rawalpindi to Lahore because of domestic politics, the interior minister said.

The Australian side is currently on its first tour of the country in nearly a quarter of a century, having previously declined to visit due to security fears.

There have been no threats directed at the team since its arrival last month but several political rallies for and against the government are planned in Islamabad in the coming days and weeks.

Islamabad is just a short drive away from the vastly bigger garrison city of Rawalpindi.

“The matches are being shifted to Lahore because of political activities in the capital,” Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said at a news conference on Friday.

The two sides have played two Test matches so far with both ending in draws.

The third Test takes place in Lahore from March 21.

Pakistan’s governing party, the Imran Khan-led PTI, was thrown in turmoil this week after several of its elected members withdrew their support for the prime minister in advance of a no-confidence vote, stoking more uncertainty about whether the former cricketer can hang on to power.

The development came a day after a key ally said Khan was in danger of losing his coalition partners, flagging a “tilt” by his partners in government towards their opponents.

No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed his term in office.