International cricket is gradually coming back to Pakistan. After successfully hosting Sri Lanka for ODI and T20I series, Pakistan is looking forward to hosting Ireland and England shortly.
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom and England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive Tom Harrison were present in Lahore during Sri Lanka-Pakistan T20I series. The officials from both the countries were invited by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to access the security situations in the country.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Government have been working closely to make sure that the International cricket return to Pakistan in its full flow.
Ireland has been planning to tour Pakistan since 2014. The Irish team was ready to play a three-match ODI series in Pakistan back in 2014, but the unfortunate incident of the militant attack on Karachi Airport ruined the tour, and Ireland pulled out at the last moment.
Since then, Zimbabwe, West Indies, ICC World XI and recently Sri Lanka have been successfully hosted by Pakistan which has paved the way for Cricket Ireland to think about touring Pakistan.
If we can play a part in bringing international cricket back in Pakistan, it will be a great honour for us: Warren Deutrom
During his visit, Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said,” It is a great pleasure to be here in Pakistan. First of all, we have been treated fabulously well. The courtesy, the generosity, the hospitality, the warmth, the love of cricket is evident for anyone to see.” further added,” If can play a part in bringing international cricket back in Pakistan, it will be a great honour for us.”
Ireland made their test debut against Pakistan last year in their backyard. Cricket Ireland CEO was quick to add that the security arrangements here in Pakistan were terrific and they were hoping to be invited by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2020-21 for the limited-overs series.
England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Chief Executive Tom Harrison also attended Pakistan-Sri Lanka series in Lahore. He also looked satisfied after having a look at the foolproof security arrangements.
We always love to host Pakistan: Tom Harrison
Tom Harrison said,” We always love to host Pakistan. It has been so much fun to see the engagement of our English cricket community with the Pakistan cricket team, particularly in the shorter formats.”
The Englishman was quick to add,” After having a look at the security arrangements, we need to start building towards a plan to put in place over the next few years to make it safe for us to consider coming here to Pakistan, and fulfilling that obligation in the second half of 2022.”
“We need to meet key men in the security team, all of the decision-makers, and work-out the steps that we need to take to assess the viability of an England tour in 2020.”
Sri Lankan team and management was amazed to receive such fantastic hospitality and support from Pakistan. All the players and officials touring alongside the team passed a positive message to the world. Sri Lankan side was quick to announce publicly through social media that Pakistan was safe to play cricket.
Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake said in an interview,” This tour is a message for the whole world and especially a note for future Sri Lankans. The trip has gone very smoothly. Us playing here will encourage so many other countries to also come to Pakistan.”