Pakistan news December 16, 2013

PCB seeks government help to revive cricket-venue status

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The Pakistan Cricket Board's Interim Management Committee, led by Najam Sethi, has sought the help of the Pakistan government in an attempt to revive international cricket in the country. The board will soon meet Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif soon, Sethi said, adding that the support of the government could help get a chance to host international games.

"I really wish to begin a campaign and use all diplomatic channels for the return of international cricket to our country," Sethi said at a press conference on Sunday. "We want to host international matches and want our stadiums to be fully filled and fans cheering for the teams.

"We have requested the prime minister to help us in this regard and we are going to meet him very soon. He called us for a meeting a few days ago but it was canceled due to Chuck Hagel's (US Secretary of Defense) visit. But the meeting will be held soon. I think it will help. An adjournment motion has also been put in the assembly and I think that will also help."

Recently, the Pakistan People's Party, a leading political outfit, submitted an adjournment motion in Pakistan's National Assembly suggesting that the issue of the revival of international cricket in the country be discussed in the House. The motion said that it was unfortunate Pakistan did not host too many international games as the sport, apart from providing entertainment for cricket fans, was a major source of revenue.

Pakistan has not hosted an international game since March 2009, when masked terrorists attacked the team bus carrying Sri Lanka's cricketers in Lahore. Apart from injuries to Sri Lankan cricketers, the incident also resulted in the death of six security men and two civilians. Following the incident, Pakistan was stripped of its hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup.

Since the attack, Pakistan have played most of their 'home series' in the UAE. The PCB, under former chairman Zaka Ashraf, had tried to bring cricket back to Pakistan, inviting foreign players to participate in a Twenty20 league, but the plan was later shelved.

The PCB had invited the Bangladesh Cricket Board for a series in 2012, but Bangladesh withdrew after committing to the tour. The West Indies Cricket Board had also refused to send its A team to Pakistan.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sports4Youth on December 18, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @ t20cric : I can only agree that UMAR GUL is a good T20 bowler. I dont agree that he is a good ODI bowler. As far as test matches are concerned he should not even be in the reserves. Further regarding his experiece: That is my exact problem. He does not seem to learn at all. On one hand you say he is experienced on the other hand he has to be handled like a baby. Regarding the last part of your comment I agree the while granting debute changes youngsters whe shoult not face them with SA in SA like they did to SARFRAZ AHMED.

  • ozone8237 on December 17, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    and when Pakistan gave its vote in Favor of Kamal @ ICC Bangladesh cancelled its so called tour. Now whatsoever the reason was and whoever got involved is not the issue the issue was BCCI or BD Govt never kept their commitment made it seem like they were only looking for Pakistan's support in ICC. I believe PCB should go ahead with the launch of Pakistan Super League (PSL) before inviting individual nations for home series and UAE should be the venue of the first edition of PSL. The opening ceremony should be held in Pakistan and Semi Final and Finals in Pakistan as well. This will eventually eliminate the drought of competitive cricket being played at home grounds...

  • ozone8237 on December 17, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    HOW TO MAKE INTERNATIONAL TEAMS VISIT PAKISTAN? Its true when the surface of the ocean bed of Pakistan's internal security situation seems to be calm and smooth for a while all of a sudden we experience a sudden surge of violent ocean currents in terms of Terrorist activities resulting in disruption of all kinds of daily routines primarily in the core area of the main Target which further spreads in other areas as a security precaution. Now in these critical times who ever stands by you becomes your respected friend as we all know, "A friend in need is a Friend indeed" Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already passed their tests of dependability and being supportive. Personally I don't blame other nations for not opting to send their players to Pakistan in the current security situation. Its just Respect is earned by keeping your commitments and showing your willingness to try to help solve a problem unlike Bangladesh who politicized the whole issue of the tour of Pakistan and ..(cont..)

  • Warm_Coffee on December 17, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Pakistan should host ODI and T20 games and they can but the problem is that despite if Pakistan promises to give the best of security, no team is willing to tour.

  • yorkslanka on December 17, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    I hope our Pakistani brothers get cricket back in front of their home fans soon and I expect Sri Lanka to help by touring even if no one else will.As criclanka said, when we had problems, it was Pakistan who helped us and we will never forget that.

  • rezauk on December 16, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    From my memory everytime an international Team comes to Pakistan there is a horrific incident. Everything calms down for a couple of years people get confident and the terrorists strike again. Unfortunately though I hate to say it I doubt you will ever see International Ccicket in Pakistan. The Government would need to lead from the front but in a structure where everybody from the top looks after themselves and favours their relatives , there willl never be a structure capable or willing to look after the whole country so that everybody can pull together.

  • dummy4fb on December 16, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    The best thing this govt can do is to de politicise the sport. Appoint a fair and worthy chairman, give him powers and improve the domestic structure. Political appointees in the PCB and interim setup is only making the things worse.

    Secondly, it is the duty of govt to provide adequate security to its countrymen and the people visiting the country, rather than providing presidential level security to the visiting teams, govt should improve the overall security situation in the country and everything will settle down accordingly.

  • Baseer_Piracha on December 16, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    @zaheerahmad for your information only Ajmal has played international cricket in Pakistan on Asia cup 2008... :) But apart from all I want cricket back in Pakistan... As security situation has totally changed in last few year and Pakistan is now totally ready to host international cricket... In fact Australia can tour Pakistan without any fear for a short tour...

  • SyedAreYouDumb on December 16, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    The problem is until security is not sorted then no teams will come. If a tour was to go ahead and another similar incident occurred then cricket will never return to Pakistan.

  • t20cric on December 16, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    @Sports4Youth: Umar Gul may not be very good in the longer format but you can't disagree that he is a good t20 & ODI bowler. Even if he may not be the very best he does have experience & remember that we lost the 2nd t20 only cuz we lacked experienced fast bowlers. That being said I would agree that the guys at the top of that table need to have a chance cuz they're young & performing good. If any of them get a debut against a team like SL (not the best but not the worst test team) in tests then it would be much better then debuting them against SA in SA which happened to Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali, Asad Ali & Mohammad Irfan. The test squad hasn't been announced yet so just hope that atleast Sadaf Hussain gets a chance.

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