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PCB asks to host World Cup qualifiers in 2018

Umar Farooq

April 18, 2013

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PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf at a press conference, Lahore, April 18, 2011
Zaka Ashraf knows that it will prove difficult to attract teams back to Pakistan © AFP
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The PCB has lodged a request with the ICC to host the World Cup qualifying tournament in 2018, which will determine the final places at the following year's event in England, as they attempt to revive international cricket in Pakistan.

There have been no international games in country since March 2009 when the buses carrying the Sri Lankan team and ICC officials were attacked on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. There have been tentative steps to try and bring visiting teams back, but Bangladesh's withdrawal from their tour last year confirmed how much concern remains.

Pakistan has had two ICC events removed from them in recent years with the 2008 Champions Trophy shifted to South Africa and they were taken off the 2011 World Cup due to the ongoing security problems. The PCB had previously shown interest in hosting the 2014 World Twenty20 which was awarded to Bangladesh and now wants to push again for an event.

"There is a ICC event in 2018 and Pakistan have requested it should be given an opportunity to host the event," Ashraf said at Lahore airport on his return from recent ICC meetings in Dubai. "We have also asked them to evaluate the security situation when the time comes, but keep the slot for us. They have agreed and have given it to the committee and when the time comes they will assess the security situation and will decide accordingly."

Pakistan was previously part of a global event when it co-hosted the 1996 World Cup alongside India and Sri Lanka. Ashraf admitted that a lot of work remains to convince teams that touring Pakistan is a viable option.

"I have talked with three to four presidents of cricket boards and they are reluctant when they hear the name of Pakistan especially after the Bangladesh ran away last year," he said. "They think when Bangladesh did not come how could they tour? We are talking with another country and they have asked us to send the request. We are trying their women's team or Under-19 team so that something starts and the confidence level is developed."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

Sad that Pakistan is deprived of home cricket. Pakistan has produced the rarest gems of world cricket and needs support from other boards...

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

elections of pakistan are being held in the may.i think,after elections.if allah bless, the condition of pakistan will be better. which will ease the way of internatioal players to pakistan.INSHA ALLAH.

Posted by EngineerKhan on (April 19, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

It would be far far better if they ask to host the World T20 of 2020. It will be awesome as both year and format would be 2020 and no country can deny Pakistan as they haven't hosted any ICC tournament since 1996. Plus, Sri Lankan team attack wounds would have healed and teams would have moved on as still 7 years to go

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (April 19, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

i think things will improve with new government next month. Cricket has to come back to Pakistan. Because we love cricket.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (April 19, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

I am on board with a lot of people asking for minor teams to visit...build confidence....we have to understand that team's inhibition in traveling to Pakistan are not baseless...a team bus got attacked...would you send your best cricketer's into such a situation...and it takes a lot of time getting back from that.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

agree with Quddus-Mamu, you can invite Nepal and Afghanistan, as these two teams growing rapidly and they surely accepts any invitation from PCB. it would be beneficial for every team and good way to bring some quality cricket back to Pakistan.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Ashraf is a Great Chairperson

Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (April 19, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

Nepal is playing good cricket now a days. PCB can try to arrange a tri-series with Nepal and Afghanistan. Anyway, good luck with the world cup 2018 in Pakistan......

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