PCB hopes Australia, South Africa will tour Pakistan in near future

Ehsan Mani, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, has had fruitful discussions with Cricket South Africa officials in his recent trip to Johannesburg.

A file picture of the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Most international teams have avoided touring Pakistan after March, 2009.   -  AFP

Pakistan is hoping to host Australia and South Africa for cricket in the near future.

According to a reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ehsan Mani, in his trip to Johannesburg, has had fruitful discussions with Cricket South Africa officials on the matter of hosting cricket in Pakistan. “Cricket South Africa officials have told Mani they will look into sending the South African Under-19, A, women’s and senior teams to Pakistan over a period of time,” the source said.

‘Positive response’

He said the PCB is also hoping Cricket Australia agrees to play one or two One-Day Internationals in late March-April, 2019, in Lahore and Karachi. “Things are looking bright after the positive response of CSA with regards to getting more international cricket matches in Pakistan,” he added.

Since March 2009, when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, no top side has visited Pakistan due to security concerns.

Since September, 2017, Pakistan has hosted the ICC World XI, Sri Lanka and Windies for short T20 series. Photo: AFP

 

But Mani had given the CSA detailed briefings on the improved situation in Pakistan and the strong security plan of the PCB for visiting teams, according to the source.

Since September, 2017, Pakistan has hosted the ICC World XI, Sri Lanka and Windies for short T20 series in Lahore and Karachi. In the last two years, the final of the Pakistan Super League, a Twenty20 competition, was also held in Karachi.

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Wasim Khan, PCB’s newly-appointed managing director, has made it clear his main task would be to see the return of full-fledged international cricket to Pakistan. Wasim, who takes charge later this month, has said the PCB would be willing to allay the security concerns of visiting teams.