PCB ditch effort to host Sri Lanka and South Africa at home

Image courtesy of: The Express Tribune

Sethi is determined to revive international cricket in Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have once again ditched a desperate attempt to bring international cricket back to the shores of Pakistan after Sri Lanka and South Africa both refused to play in the war-torn nation due to security fears.

Instead, both series will now be played in Pakistan’s ‘home’ country of the United Arab Emirates.

A senior official within the PCB revealed that Cricket South Africa had already refused to send their national team to Pakistan and added that there was no point in forcing the Sri Lankans to tour the nation as well, especially after six of their own players were injured back in March 2009 after their bus was ambushed by armed militants.

“Given the situation it would have been a useless exercise to try to convince the Sri Lankans to play in Pakistan,” the official said.

Interim PCB chairman Najam Sethi recently announced that his top priority would be to revive international cricket in Pakistan, but the growing tensions between the government and militants threaten to derail his plans.

“Unless the law and order situation improves I don’t think we can get foreign teams to play in Pakistan,” Sethi said. “Although we will continue our efforts for an early restoration of international cricket in Pakistan.”

Due to the shortage of time until the start of the series, the PCB have aborted their attempts to convince both touring parties to play in Pakistan.

“We have been playing our home series mostly in the UAE since 2009 and the conditions also suit us,” the senior official said. “We will play South Africa in September-October and then Sri Lanka in November-December at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.”

South Africa’s tour will consist of three Test matches, five ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 International, while Sri Lanka’s tour will be very similar to that of South Africa’s.

“We want to start making preparations now because these are two very important series for us and we want to make them profitable ventures,” the official added.

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