The PCB are desperately searching for solutions to end the international cricket drought
With the fourth anniversary of the Sri Lankan team coming under attack by Pakistani militants just having passed, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have once again made a desperate plea to the rest of the cricketing world to bring the sport back to its shores.
Pakistan have not played host to any international cricket matches since March 2009 after eight locals were killed in the ambush and six Sri Lankan players were injured.
“It was the tragic episode in the history of Pakistan cricket,” PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who is also a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party’s central executive committee, told ESPNcricinfo. “We have suffered a lot in fighting against terrorism – a war that is the entire world’s and Pakistan is fighting as a front-line state. The whole world should stand with us in helping revive international cricket.”
The Sri Lankan players left the country that day and the International Cricket Council (ICC) stripped Pakistan of its rights to host the 2011 World Cup.
As a result of the attack, all other international teams have been too frightened to travel to the war-torn country and the Pakistan national team have had to play all of their ‘home’ series in the United Arab Emirates.
The PCB have also been trying to lure international cricketers back to the country by creating the Pakistan Super League (PSL), in which they were offering overseas talents the chance to make $100,000 in 10 days and have a $2 million insurance policy if anything were to go wrong.
However, the tournament had to be postponed indefinitely due to logistical problems.
Last year, the PCB seemed to have convinced the Bangladesh squad to tour the country, but twice, at the very last moment, the Bangladesh team have backed out due to security concerns.
Since Pakistan have not hosted an international match in over four years, the PCB have started to update their cricket infrastructure, building the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Cricket Stadium at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Naudero, Sindh last year, while plans to build another international ground with full lodging facilities in Islamabad have been sanctioned as well.