It seems that the people of Pakistan will still have to wait before they can see their favourite cricketing stars in action on their own turf. Except for the washed out match against Zimbabwe in 2015, no team has toured Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan players in 2009.
Pakistan, also once conferred the title of the “Most Dangerous Country to live in”, has always had to deal with the security issues of players post the incident.
The West Indies, who were supposed to play a two-match t20 series in Pakistan, have now called off the plan. The matches were supposed to take place right after the final of the PSL, which is due to take place in Lahore on the 9th of March. According to the PCB authorities, the West Indies Board conveyed it verbally that the plan is off now. The main reason cited for the move is the unwillingness of the West Indies Players’ Association to send the players to such a volatile region.
“We are the confirmed hosts of the PSL final in Lahore, so once it’s done it will create an opening plus former England cricket head Giles Clarke is visiting Pakistan from January 28 so he will also assess the situation,”
Pakistan, along with India is one of the largest markets for cricket in South Asia and has one of the most enthusiastic fans. They have been playing home games in UAE for the past 7 years and counting. Lack of cricket at home has affected the development of the sport within the country due to lesser revenues and earnings.
Now, the primary hope of the PCB rests on the fate of the PSL Final which will be hosted in Lahore. They will be determined to host a safe game at all costs so as to send a message out to the world cricketing fraternity.
“Foreign teams rely a great deal on the travel advisories from their embassies in Pakistan so once that changes and becomes positive only then we can expect to convince teams (to come),”
To bounce back as on the international cricket scene as a feared side, Pakistan must try to bring cricket home as soon as possible. They need to invest in better youth development and infrastructure to boost the sport in the country. Not only in the sector of sports, but Pakistan has to improve its image in the face of constant links to terror.