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PAK vs AUS, 2022, 3rd Test


Lahore will host a Test for the first time since the format returned to Pakistan in 2019

Nearly 12 years into his international career, 93 Tests, almost 7000 runs and 19 hundreds to the good, Azhar Ali is finally coming home.

On Monday, when he steps out on the field at the Gaddafi Stadium against Australia, Azhar will be playing his first Test on what is his home ground. The final Test of the series, without a result so far, is the first in the city of Pakistan’s headquarters since Tests returned to the country in late 2019. Pakistan have played Tests in Karachi and Rawalpindi since then.

“It’s a really emotional feeling,” Azhar told the PCB website. “When you’re young, Gaddafi Stadium is such an iconic venue. Whenever we would go past it, I would think I really want to play at this ground.

“I’ve played at first-class level here, of course, but since my Test debut all our cricket has been outside Pakistan. At one time, we felt like we might never play a Test in Pakistan again. But finally, we have a chance – we waited so long to play in Pakistan, and then after returning have had to wait longer to play in Lahore.”

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