Pakistan's visit to Australia was restricted to eight first-class matches, including three Tests, plus a programme of Benson and Hedges World Series Cup one-day games, coinciding with a West Indian tour. The team performed moderately well, twelve of them having taken part in Pakistan's short tour to Australia three years earlier.
In the World Series Cup, Pakistan only narrowly missed reaching the final with West Indies. Zaheer hit a fine 108 against Australia at Sydney, to bring victory to his side, and scored the most runs in the series. Miandad, Mudassar and Imran also batted well. Mudassar collected twelve wickets and headed the one-day bowling averages, while Imran, Sarfraz and Sikander all did quite creditably with the ball. An unfortunate aspect of the visit was the decline in public interest in the Test matches between Australia and Pakistan, this being most marked in the third Test at Melbourne, which Pakistan won, when the attendance on each of the five days' play was below 10,000. The three Tests attracted only 88,369 spectators.
Javed Miandad led the side and batted well throughout, although his confrontation with Lillee during the Perth Test was a wretched affair and he did not appear to have the full support of his whole team at all times. He was also involved in strong but unsuccessful requests by the Pakistani management to have the umpires replaced for the second Test.
The confrontation between Miandad and Lillee was one of the most undignified incidents in Test history. Miandad, batting to Lillee, had turned a ball to the on side and was in the course of completing a comfortable single when he was obstructed by Lillee. In the ensuing fracas Lillee kicked Miandad, who responded by shaping to strike him with his bat. The Australian team imposed a $200 fine (£120 approx.) on Lillee and sought an apology from Miandad for his part in the affair. However, the umpires, who had assisted in quelling the incident, objected to the penalty as being too lenient and the matter was dealt with at a Melbourne hearing before Mr R. Merriman, the coordinator of the Australian Cricket Board's cricket sub-committee. His ruling was that Lillee's penalty, set by the players, was not sufficient and he imposed a suspension from Australia's two ensuing one-day internationals - against Pakistan and West Indies. No apology was forthcoming from Miandad, whose participation in the incident was also referred to in the umpires' report.
Zaheer Abbas maintained his customary form with some crisp and effective batting, while Majid Khan batted soundly and his replacement as opening batsman, Mansoor Akhtar, showed promise. The youthful Rizwan-uz-Zaman had distinct ability as an opening batsman, hitting hundreds against South Australia and Tasmania. Mudassar Nazar batted soundly, playing the role of sheet-anchor, and Wasim Raja showed glimpses of form on occasions.
Imran Khan became Pakistan's highest Test wicket-taker in the Melbourne Test with 144 dismissals. His fast bowling throughout the tour was excellent, and in the view of many he was the outstanding cricketer of the Australian season. He was ably supported by the angular fast bowler, Sikander Bakht, and the veteran, Sarfraz Nawaz, both of whom performed in stout-hearted fashion. Iqbal Qasim, the side's only top-class slow bowler, headed the bowling averages with 23 wickets. He bowled particularly well in the third Test in Melbourne while taking seven wickets. He was supported by the all-rounder, Ijaz Faqih, who bowled right-arm off-spinners, as well as batting quite usefully.
Test matches - Played 3: Won 1, Lost 2.
First-class matches - Played 8: Won 2, Lost 2, Drawn 4.
Wins- Australia, Tasmania.
Losses - Australia (2).
Draws - Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia.
Non first-class matches - Played 13: Won 6, Lost 6, Drawn 1. Wins - Australia (3), West Indies, South Australian Country XI, Victorian Country XI. Losses - West Indies (4), Australia (2). Draw - Australian Capital Territory.
Match reports for
Tour Match: Western Australia v Pakistanis at Perth, Oct 23-26, 1981
Tour Match: Queensland v Pakistanis at Brisbane, Oct 30-Nov 2, 1981
Tour Match: Victoria v Pakistanis at Melbourne, Nov 6-9, 1981
Tour Match: South Australia v Pakistanis at Adelaide, Dec 26-29, 1981
Tour Match: Tasmania v Pakistanis at Launceston, Jan 1-4, 1982