In the past, international teams have had horrific experiences while touring Pakistan for a cricket series. And it became worse after the Sri Lankan team found itself under a terror attack in Lahore in 2009 that saw the members getting airlifted from the middle of the ground. Since then, Pakistan has remained isolated as a host and even missed the opportunity to co-host the 2011 World Cup which took place in the sub-continent. The situation has slightly changed for the better recently with foreign players visiting the country for playing games of the Pakistan Super League. A few teams have also toured the country briefly in the last decade.
However, top cricketing nations like Australia and England are yet not fully ready to send their national teams to Pakistan, a country which has been hit by domestic problems. Neither of these two SENA nations has toured Pakistan recently and it has been learnt that top executives from them will pay visit to the Asian nation in September and October for security briefings.
According to the Pakistan Cricket Board, Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Earl Edings and chief executive Kevin Roberts will be in Pakistan between September 16-18 and in the following month, England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison will set his foot there. PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said this to the members of the Board of Governors at a meeting in Lahore on Friday, India Today cited reports as saying.
Aim is to convince the officials to send teams to Pakistan
Mani said the idea behind the top officials’ visits is to convince them to send their teams to Pakistan and help cricket return to the country. No Test series has taken place in Pakistan since the Lahore attacks in 2009 though teams have gone there a few teams to play limited-over games. Sri Lanka will visit Pakistan next month but only for the limited-over series while the two-match Test series will only be played in the UAE in December. Pakistan have been playing all their home Tests in the UAE these years.
According to Mani, the visiting Australian and English officials will be given complete security briefings. The idea is to convince them to send their teams to Pakistan and help them complete the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, where no Test-playing nation has set foot since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 in Lahore.
While England last played a Test series on Pakistani soil in 2005-06, Australia’s latest entry in Pakistan for a Test series happened way back in 1998-99.