The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set its sights on hosting International Cricket Council (ICC) events in the near future following meetings in Pakistan with the game’s governing body.
After a terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, Test cricket did not return to the country until last December, when Sri Lanka came for a two-Test series.
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney concluded a two-day visit of the country on Thursday, with the PCB claiming meetings to have been “positive and constructive”.
Sawhney’s visit was in regards to briefing the PCB on the process to be adopted for the assignment of ICC events between 2023 and 2031, with the rights cycle comprising of eight men’s events, eight women’s events, four men’s U19 events and four women’s U19 events.
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said the board’s “vision” is to host a number of ICC events during between 2023 and 2021. “We had positive, constructive and wide-ranging meetings with the ICC in relation to the 2023-2031 event cycle,” Khan said. “As part of our vision, we want to push on and host a number of ICC global events during the next rights cycle.”
“It was excellent to get an insight into the ICC’s expectations and requirements so that we can accordingly plan and prepare our bid document.
“We now have a clearer idea of what will be required from us and so we will now go away from this meeting and think through our strategy for approaching the bid process. We are determined and keen to host ICC events in the next events cycle and understand this will not be a straightforward project. We will require a lot of support from the government as well all stakeholders.”
Bangladesh begin their tour of Pakistan on Friday following lengthy negotiations between the PCB and Bangladesh Cricket Board. The BCB had initially stated that they would only tour the country for a T20I series, unwilling to play a scheduled two-Test series due to security concerns.
However, the two boards resolved the matter in a meeting in Dubai earlier this month, with ICC chairman Shashank Manohar helping broker an agreement for the tour to take place over three legs. A three-match T20I series will take place from January 24 to January 27, with the first Test to then begin on February 7. Following the conclusion of the 2020 Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh will return in April for one ODI followed by the second Test.
Speaking to Wisden Cricket Monthly in December, Khan stated his hopes for a permanent return of international cricket to Pakistan.
“We’re just thankful we’re now back home and we hope that this will be it, that we’ll be playing cricket in Pakistan for good,” Khan said.