The International Cricket Council (ICC) has added a clause about full restoration of international cricket in Pakistan in its new strategic policy. The policy was presented and approved in a meeting held by the ICC in Dubai last week.
There was no any such point present in the previous policy draft. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised its concerns regarding the absence of any ICC policy relating to resumption of cricket in Pakistan.
On PCB’s concerns and objection of initial draft, the council reviewed the policy and added restoration of cricket to its policy draft.
PCB also raised the issue of series against India where India violated the contract and refused to play against Pakistan. ICC is yet to take any step against India despite Pakistan’s case being strong.
Long Awaited Return
It has been eight years since the last test match was played in Pakistan. Last international test match played in Pakistan was back in 2009 during the tour of Sri Lanka. In the same series, Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists on their way to the stadium. Since then, international cricket has failed to return to Pakistan.
However, there were a few tours of foreign players and teams that gave hope to the fans.
Cricket in Pakistan After 2009
The board made a lot of efforts to invite teams to play in Pakistan. Bangladesh committed to play a series several times however backed off every single time.
PCB later did succeed in bringing a World XI side, mostly comprised of retired players, in Pakistan. The tour was successful, however, it didn’t make any real impact on impressing other cricketing nations.
Before that, in 2015, Zimbabwe visited Pakistan to play a three-match limited over series. This tour, again, was successful and no major disturbing incident occurred in the series.
The most important and notable cricketing events happened in 2017. Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy against all odds, which made ICC and other cricketing nations to seriously consider the matter of Pakistan’s cricket at home.
ICC announced, after the Champions Trophy, that they are working on sending a World XI to Pakistan. A World XI team led by Faf du Plessis comprising of international cricket superstars did visit Pakistan in September, 2017. Pakistan won the 3-match t20 series 2-1 cricket came out on top. The successful tour of these renowned players paved way for PCB to make efforts for inviting other teams to Pakistan.
PCB and Sri Lankan board then agreed to play a T20 match in Lahore. Some of the Sri Lankan players stayed home but the team did visit Pakistan and played the match. Sri Lankan players were provided fool-proof security and the match concluded without any incident.
PCB has also announced that West Indies will visit Pakistan next month to play a 3-match T20 series. We hope that more international teams like South Africa, England and Australia visit Pakistan as well.