Int’l cricket was back with full force in Pakistan: Wasim Khan, July 24, 2020

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Int’l cricket was back with full force in Pakistan: Wasim Khan, July 24, 2020

         ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan believes international cricket was back with full force in the country, saying he was confident that England and Australia would tour Pakistan as per their Future Tour Program (FTP) commitments.

“We had decided last year that we will play our entire home cricket in Pakistan and since then we have left no stone unturned to ensure that we make it happen. We have hosted two successful bilateral series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, hosted the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), hosted women and Under16 series against Bangladesh besides staging the entire HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the country,” he told ScoreLine in an interview.

Wasim said these were all unprecedented events (in the context of the last 10 barren years of cricket in the country) and have surely raised and restored Pakistan’s image as a safe and secure country for international cricket.

“I am fully confident that we will have England and Australia tour Pakistan as per their FTP commitments in the next two years while we have home series scheduled against Zimbabwe and South Africa later in our home season. So yes I firmly believe international cricket is back with full force in the country,” he said.

To a question, Wasim said our domestic season starts in September, which was still some three and a half months away. “The situation at the moment is a bit unpredictable but our plan A is to start the season on time. Of course, this might not be in our control if the prevailing situation either continues or deteriorates. Hence, we have a back-up plan of delaying the start of rescheduling the domestic season if needed," he said.

He said with regards to our home international commitments and the staging of the HBL PSL 2020 play-offs, we would speak to all relevant stakeholders, cricket boards and work out the schedules once we have clarity on the resumption of cricket,” he said.

Wasim said we have always maintained that the health and safety of players and all relevant stakeholders is of paramount importance to the PCB. “We are confident of bringing the league to its logical conclusion by holding the play-offs and the final later in the year in an appropriate window. With the success of the tournament prior to its postponement, there remains a great deal of interest from fans as well as millions of TV and digital audiences around the world,” he said.

He said it was still early to say of how cricket would be, once we return to the cricket fields around the world. “The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee has announced recommendations on amendments to certain regulations, such as not being able to apply saliva to the ball. We are living in a changed world so our survival as a game will depend on our ability to adapt in line with medically-led safety advice. The priority will be the health and safety of all involved with the sport as well as the fans once they return to stadiums. PCB is keeping a close eye on the developments and is in constant touch with both the ICC and cricket boards around the world,” he said.