A powerful bomb blast at a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar left at least 50 people dead and 80 injured on Friday.
The attack came two hours from where Australia play the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.
According to a PTI report, officials said the condition of 10 injured people was considered critical. “We are in a state of emergency and the injured are being transferred to hospital,” police officer Mohammad Sajjad Khan told Reuters.
“We are investigating the nature of the explosion, but it looked like a suicide bombing.” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the explosion in Peshawar.
Another Sydney Morning Herald report said Cricket Australia was monitoring the situation closely.
The Australian squad remain in Islamabad for this week’s first Test in Rawalpindi and enjoy presidential-style security for the duration of the tour.
Several fans expressed their angst on social media but expressed confidence that the tour would not be cancelled.
Cricket is coming home after 24 years and some cowards really don’t see that happening. May Allah the Almighty protect us all 🇵🇰. #Peshawarblast #AUSvsPAK #peshawar 💔 #PAKvAUS #PakistanCricket https://t.co/CdiTy1lPyK
— Danish (@DanishKhemani) March 4, 2022
I really hope this Peshawar explosion doesn’t affect the show #PAKvAUS
– One minute down, next minute up 🇵🇰 (@cricketroars) March 4, 2022
I was so happy because of the test match. We have waited so long for this day but the explosion in Peshawar brings me to tears.😭💔 it is disturbing and heartbreaking. When will it all end #PAKvAUS #Peshawar pic.twitter.com/6vgDrGQOQQ
— Eshal✨ (@EshalShah5) March 4, 2022
Just as Pakistan is ready to host the Australian cricket team, an explosion in #Peshawar killed 30 people and injured several. We’ve come so far beating #The Terrorists. This flag will be tall and waving.#PakistanMovingForward #PakistanZindabad https://t.co/l1dymwnbLI
— Chacha Cricket (@chachacricketpk) March 4, 2022
#BREAKING A bomb exploded in Peshawar, about 170 km from where the Australian cricket team are currently playing their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years. Pakistani police say at least 30 people were killed in the suicide bombing at a mosque during prayers. @abcnews
— Avani Dias (@AvaniDias) March 4, 2022
Meanwhile, Pakistani opener Imam-ul-Haq returned to Test cricket after 27 months with a gritty 92 not out and provided Pakistan with a flying start in their first home Test against Australia in 24 years. Imam led Pakistan to a solid 171-1 at Tea as Australia worked hard for the lone wicket of opener Abdullah Shafique (44) on a typically slow surface in the subcontinent.
Skipper Babar Azam won the toss and asked Pakistan to beat first. Australians Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and skipper Pat Cummins struggled to get the new ball moving. Even veteran offspinner Nathan Lyon (1-59) was ineffective until he brushed aside Shafique in the penultimate before lunch.
It is the first time Australia have played a Test match in Pakistan since 1998 due to security concerns following several attacks in Pakistan.