It’s over a decade since Pakistan got sidelined as an international cricket host because of a terror attack on the visiting Sri Lankan national team. There were a few short limited-overs series held in this time and recently Sri Lanka returned to play an ODI and T20I series in that country. Next month, the islanders will go back to Pakistan to play in a two-match Test series, marking the return of the longest format after March 2009.
A number of international players have supported the return of international cricket in Pakistan, especially after they took part in the popular Pakistan Super League (PSL) and now, England all-rounder Moeen Ali has also vouched for the same. He feels the world needs international cricket to return to Pakistan where security is still considered a major concern.
Moeen, whose forefathers were of Pakistani origin, is hoping to take part in the PSL next year which will be entirely held in Pakistan, unlike in the past when a big part was held in the UAE. The 32-year-old, who took a break to come back to the Test arena fresh after getting dropped following a poor show in the first Test against Australia a few months ago, is also hopeful that more teams start visiting Pakistan.
Top England and Ireland officials recently visited Pakistan
Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board Tom Harrison and his Ireland counterpart Warren Deutrom recently visited Pakistan to take note of the security situation there. They expressed satisfaction by the security arrangements made by the Pakistan cricket authorities. The two European sides could visit Pakistan in the near future if everything goes right.
“The world needs international cricket to be brought back to Pakistan,” Moeen was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “Obviously, there are other issues at hand that need to be looked at when we speak of bringing international tours to Pakistan, but the sooner we can do it, the better it is for the game of cricket as a whole,” the member of England’s World Cup-winning squad added.
“From what I hear, it is an amazing place to play cricket and the following for the game is huge there. I am sure that the Pakistani players would love to play international games in front of their own crowds and the way things are progressing, this will hopefully happen sooner than later on a regular basis.”
Pakistan has hosted two World Cups jointly with other subcontinental nations in 1987 and 1996 but missed out in 2011 because of the Lahore attacks. It has also got the responsibility to host the 2020 Asia Cup although the venue is still not clear.
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