PCB invites foreign officials to Karachi, hopes for positive feedback

The Pakistan Cricket Board hopes to convince its counterparts from the Indian sub-continent to start touring Pakistan for international matches.

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 7, 2019.   -  AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hopes to convince its counterparts from the Indian sub-continent to stop touring the UAE and start touring Pakistan for its home cricket assignments as it arranges for the presence of two cricket officials — Nazmul Hasan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, and Tony Irish, the Federation of International Players’ Association (FICA) chief executive — in Karachi for the Pakistan Super League.

“Nazmul who is also president of the Asian Cricket Council, will be in Karachi from [Saturday] till the final while Irish will come one day before the final on March 17,” a PCB official told PTI.

The Board had invited them and other officials so they could encourage international teams to play in the country. Eight matches of the PSL are being held in Karachi for the first time since the league started, in 2016.

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“Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are scheduled to play home series in Pakistan in the winter of 2019-20. Since 2009, all our home series have been held in UAE because of refusal by foreign teams to play in Pakistan citing security concerns. The PCB is hoping that with Nazmul Hasan staying for a week in Karachi, he will be in a better position to give feedback about the security arrangements and overall situation in Karachi and Pakistan after the PSL,” the official said.

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The PCB hopes it will then become easier for Bangladesh to accept its invitation to play Pakistan across formats at home, and not in the UAE. “And we are also hoping that positive reports will convince Sri Lanka to also come to Pakistan later this year,” the official said.

The PCB has also invited ICC chief executive David Richardson, besides others, to scrutinise the security arrangements in Karachi. “FICA has always had apprehensions about allowing overseas players to tour Pakistan and we feel that Tony Irish will be able to see for himself that the perception about the security situation in Pakistan to the outside world is not correct,” the official stated.

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