PCB taking baby steps for bringing international action back
Karachi: Although Pakistan has one of the top cricket team of the world, having won a World Cup in 1992, it is no surprise that foreign teams have stayed away from touring Pakistan since the Sri Lankan team came under terrorist attack in 2009.
In the aftermath of the attack, Pakistan unfortunately also lost the right to co-host World Cup 2011 along with India and Bangladesh.
Inheriting the outcomes of incompetent policies, Sheheryar Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, seems now to be taking baby steps towards bringing international action back to Pakistan.
The arrival of Kenyan cricket team in Lahore last night is a welcome step. Although of a lowly standing, the arrival of Kenya cricket team in Pakistan will certainly have a positive impact on Pakistan’s endeavors to bring the international cricket back to Pakistan.
Kenya would be playing five one-day matches against Pakistan second string team – Pakistan A, skippered by prolific Fawad Alam, which in itself is a big question why the player is here and not with the national team playing ODI series against New Zealand in UAE.
However, last month Afghanistan A also visited and played against Pakistan A. Now if such initiatives are taken on regular basis, then it could be hoped that Pakistan would soon be able to host cricket series on its own soil instead of UAE, which has become Pakistan cricket team’s second home in the aftermath of the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, that happened five years back.
The Kenyan team’s tour or Afghanistan team’s tour would give little benefit to Pakistani players as they need more competent opponents to polish their game and therefore such tours would only be helpful for the board to gain momentum in its struggle to bring international cricket back.
Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has also recently hosted SAFF Women Football Championship in Pakistan while Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) and Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) had also organized multination tournaments. Late Dr Mohammad Ali Shah had also managed to organize matches between Pakistan XI and International XI, which comprised of foreign players. So the situation is changing slowly and hopes are high that soon we would be able to forget the demons of the 2009 terrorists attacks.
In the meanwhile, the board and more importantly the nation, for many other reasons as well, should keep its fingers crossed that the situation in Pakistan remains stable so that not only international sports returns but also the economy flourish and the lives of the people normalizes.