Friday Oct 16, 2020
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani has said that while England's proposed tour of Pakistan would be short in nature, its impact in helping bring the top international teams to Pakistan will be huge.
The PCB has invited the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to send its national team to Pakistan in January next year for a three-match T20I series. The English authorities are studying and considering the offer, which if accepted, would see the England team play on Pakistani soil for the first time in 15 years.
The tour would only be week-long and comprise a single series of the shortest format but the PCB chair has explained while even that would be a “massive breakthrough” in the Board’s years-long efforts to bring top-level international cricket to Pakistan.
If the England team does visit Pakistan then it would be a major breakthrough,” Mani said in a video released by the PCB.
“It would be a small step whose effect would be great. This would build other team’s trust on Pakistan. Australia are supposed to visit us in the 2021 season so this will help with that. They would say that if England can visit Pakistan then so can Australia. And then there will be future such tours as well.
“These small building blocks will lay the foundation of the entire structure.”
The PCB chairman clarified that the England’s tour of Pakistan, if it comes to fruition, would not be an “overnight success” but it would be the fruit of their “trust in PCB and its goodwill”.
“Our management has now done some things that are being taken seriously,” he claimed, adding “that the PCB has never promised something that it cannot deliver.
“ECB CEO Tom Harrison and officials from other boards, including security experts, have reviewed the situation in Pakistan and their unanimous verdict is that the security arrangements here are no less than any other country.”
Mani reserved special praise for PCB CEO Wasim Khan, saying that his connection with England and its cricketing authorities have been instrumental in developing other boards’ trust in Pakistan.