Pakistan cricket’s fortunes in international cricket complete a full circle with the home Test series against Sri Lanka. Test cricket in Pakistan had come to a halt with the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore ten years ago. It comes back to life again as Sri Lanka returns to play a two-match Test series.
Set to host the Islanders for a Test series for the first time in ten years, the Pakistan Cricket Board has also pronounced that henceforth it will not play its home series in future on an overseas neutral venue.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has made it clear that the national cricket team will no longer play any of their home matches in a bilateral series on a neutral venue.
With most of the top teams refusing to tour the country since the attack by terrorists on a Sri Lankan team bus back in March 2009, Pakistan has been forced to play their home games in UAE at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Pakistan is hosting Sri Lanka for two Tests in Tests with the first match due to start today (Wednesday) in Rawalpindi and that has provided Mani the much-needed confidence that he needed. “I think we have faced enough problems due to international cricket not being played at home. We have now taken all steps to create a safe environment for touring teams and we will not play our home series at any neutral venues now,” Mani told ‘Samaa’ TV channel.
Mani once again expressed his disappointment that India has steadfastly refused to play bilateral cricket with Pakistan in prevailing conditions. “They think by not playing cricket with Pakistan it will cause us any problem. They are wrong,” Mani said.
“I think the Indian people want to see bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan but unfortunately there is political interference in the game in India,” he said.
India has refused to tour Pakistan since 2007 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan did have a short tour of India in the winter of 2012-13 to play some limited over games.