Pakistan ready to welcome top cricketing countries next year

Pakistan ready to welcome top cricketing countries next year

Pakistan hasn’t hosted any home test matches for nearly a decade due to a terrorist attack on a rival team’s bus in 2009. Recently, the government has said it is ready now to welcome top cricketing nations such as South Africa, England, West Indies, and New Zealand in 2021.

Chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Wasim Khan, said that they’re working hard to build and nurture relationships with other cricket boards.

South Africa is scheduled to visit Pakistan in a two-test series, which is part of world test championship in January, 2021.

New Zealand is planned for five Twenty20s and three ODIs in September, followed by two Twenty20s against England, which will be England’s first tour to Pakistan since 2005.

The PCB has also scheduled a home series against West Indies in December.

After the 2009 terrorist attack, test cricket only came back to Pakistan late last year as Sri Lanka played two five-day games at Karachi and Rawalpindi and Bangladesh also played a test match before their second test was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In between the Zimbabwe and Bangladesh tours, the Pakistan Super League – a domestic Twenty20 league – presses Pakistan’s claims to host international games.

There were some big players who toured Pakistan and played for various city-based franchise teams, including Australia’s Shane Watson and South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Faf du Plessis. Wasim Khan believes these players had a key role in capturing Pakistan’s improving image among cricket-playing nations all over the world.

It is quite normal in Pakistan that cricket team buses heavily guarded by armed personnel whenever abroad contingents travel to the stadium from hotels to ensure tight security. That often blocks heavy traffic on major roads of big cities such as Lahore and Karachi.

Khan said that they would continue to provide state-level security as long as possible.