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Wasim Khan hoping to move part of Australia's 2019 tour to Pakistan

Australia are currently scheduled to play five ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE in March

George Dobell
George Dobell
Pakistan fans hold placards thanking West Indies, Pakistan v West Indies, 3rd T20I, Karachi, April 3, 2019

Pakistan fans hold placards thanking West Indies  •  AFP

Wasim Khan, the incoming managing director of the PCB, hopes that Australia can be persuaded to return to Pakistan for the first time in more than 20 years in the early months of 2019.
Australia, who last played in Pakistan in late 1998, are currently scheduled to play five ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE in March. But Wasim is keen to ensure any perceived security gaps are closed so that Australia can be persuaded to play matches in Pakistan at the start of that series in an attempt to bring regular international cricket back to the country.
"I will ask the question," Wasim told ESPNcricinfo. "We will continue to offer them the highest level security and, if they have any concerns, we will act to meet them."
Pakistan have been obliged to play the vast majority of their international cricket in the UAE since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team convoy in Lahore in March 2009. While Zimbabwe played some limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015, Sri Lanka returned for a one-off T20I in 2017 and there have also been appearances by a World XI (2017) and West Indies (2018), the return of Australia would mark a significant step in the nation's rehabilitation as a cricketing venue.
Wasim will also invite an MCC team to tour the country in the coming months - it is understood the subject has already been broached with the MCC chief executive Guy Lavender - and invite county teams to use the excellent academy facility in Lahore as part of their pre-season training plans.
Leicestershire, where Wasim remains chief executive until the end of January, are the obvious candidates. They currently have no pre-season trips planned in 2019, with Wasim accepting that such a visit may have to be sponsored by the PCB.
A few PSL matches have also returned to Pakistan over the last couple of years, with a number of foreign players involved. Eight fixtures are due to be staged there, split between Karachi and Lahore, in the 2018 season, which starts in February.
"It will probably be a process of baby steps," Wasim continued. "I need to sit down with other boards and ask them: where are the gaps in our plans that worry you? What can we do to assure you? What will it take to get you to come back? I want to hear what concerns they have and find a way of meeting them.
"We have excellent facilities. We have a great passion for the game. If we can get more foreign players coming to Pakistan more often, hopefully we can normalise playing in the country again."
Read ESPNcricinfo's full interview with Wasim Khan on Friday

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo