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Ashraf has vowed to bring international cricket back to Pakistan
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow them to host the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in an attempt to revive international cricket in the country.
The 2018 World Cup qualifiers will determine which teams occupy the final spots available in the 2019 World Cup, which is set to be held in England.
Pakistan have not hosted an international cricket match since March 2009, when the Sri Lankan national team was ambushed by militants, resulting in the death of eight people and six players being injured.
Since then all of Pakistan’s home games have been moved to the United Arab Emirates as the PCB have continued working tirelessly to bring back international cricket to the shores of the war-torn country.
Pakistan were stripped of hosting the 2011 ICC World Cup due to security concerns and were also snubbed when trying to gain the rights to host the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, which was awarded to Bangladesh instead.
However, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has vowed to continue doing everything in his power to bring cricket back to Pakistan.
“There is a ICC event in 2018 and Pakistan have requested it should be given an opportunity to host the event,” Ashraf said. “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.”
Despite desperate attempts to get teams to tour the country, Ashraf admitted that it would still take some time to convince the rest of the cricketing world that the security situation in Pakistan is stable.
“I have talked with three to four presidents of cricket boards and they are reluctant when they hear the name of Pakistan especially after 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.”