International Test cricket finally returned to Pakistan after a period of ten long years with the first Test getting underway between Sri Lanka and the home side in Rawalpindi. Ever since those dastardly terrorists attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, International cricket had completely subsided from Pakistan soil. In the past years, the Pakistan Cricket Board has staged short limited-over series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, West Indies, and a World XI side to prove that cricket can indeed be played in Pakistan.
And, the Test series against Sri Lanka comes as a huge boost to their hopes of reviving cricket back into the country. Pakistan are hopeful to have teams like Australia, England touring their shores and the board is currently in talks with Cricket Australia to send its national team to tour Pakistan for a three-match Test series in 2022, according to PCB’s CEO Wasim Khan.
“Cricket Australia has agreed in principle to play three Tests in Pakistan’s home series. Obviously, we are doing everything to ensure Australia agrees to play in Pakistan in 2022 and it is an ongoing process,” Khan told reporters as quoted by Sportstar.
The PCB CEO also lamented on the fact that Pakistan is allotted fewer Test matches in the ICC Future Tour programs as compared to other Test-playing nations.
“It is unfortunate that we are among those countries who play the least number of Test matches in a season. Whereas other leading nations play 8 to 14 Tests in a year we don’t even get six to seven,” Khan said.
PCB hopeful that teams like Australia, England will tour Pakistan in 2021-22
Interestingly, Australia hasn’t toured Pakistan since 1998 because of security-related concerns, forcing the latter to play its home series in Sri Lanka (2002), UAE (2002) and England (2010).
Khan also confirmed that he has dispatched the proposed itinerary to Bangladesh Cricket Board for the ICC Test Championship fixtures in January. Bangladesh hasn’t toured Pakistan since 2008 and Khan asserted that the national team will be given the same security arrangement as Sri Lanka.
“We have sent the itinerary and are awaiting a response. After Sri Lanka’s arrival to play the two Tests we don’t foresee any problems in the Bangladesh board agreeing to send their team in January,” he said.
Earlier, it was also reported that Pakistan Cricket Board has started “serious” talks with the ECB in a bid to persuade them to send their national side to Pakistan for a Test series in 2021.
Ehsan Mani had said, “I am absolutely confident that in 2021 we’ll host England and in 2022 we’ll have Australia in Pakistan. We’re not due to play New Zealand now till about 2023-24, but our default position is that Pakistan will play all of its home matches in Pakistan”
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