The Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have introduced the Benaud-Qadir trophy to celebrate Australia’s first Test series in Pakistan in 24 years.
The trophy will be a perpetual one and will be presented after every men’s Test series played between the two countries.
Australia are currently in Pakistan for a three-match Test series, which begins on Friday, 4 March. This is their first visit to the country since 1998 since Mark Taylor’s side emerged victorious 1-0 against the hosts.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia captain Pat Cummins unveiled the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at the Pindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first Test in honour of the two legendary leg-spinners: Australia’s Richie Benaud and Pakistan’s Abdul Qadir.
Beanud, who featured 63 Tests, played Australia’s first Test in Pakistan in 1956 and later captained his country on their first full tour to Pakistan in 1959 and won the series 2-0. Qadir played in 11 Tests against Australia in which he took 45 wickets, including 33 wickets in two separate Test series in 1982 and 1988.
“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 popularize 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 on recognising and acknowledging the contributions of the greats of the game and added: “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.
“We have our sights firmly on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, both the sides will have to bring out their very best during this series as this promises to be a really competitive contest. This series will significantly enhance the quality of Test cricket, which cricket fans inside the venues and world-over can thoroughly enjoy.”
After the first Test in Rawalpindi from 4 to 8 March, the second Test will be played in Karachi from 12 to 16 March, while the third will take place in Lahore from 21 to 25 March. All three Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship.