Khan optimistic about Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan

MD PCB is trying to convince the Islanders for a series in October this year

Khan optimistic about Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan PHOTO: AFP

Newly appointed Managing Director of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wasim Khan is hopeful that Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan this year.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a series against the Men in Green in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), later this year.

While talking exclusively to Cricket Pakistan, Khan has confirmed that PCB is in talks with Cricket Sri Lanka for a possible tour of the country.

“We are in negotiation with Cricket Sri Lanka for their team’s possible tour of Pakistan as the Islanders are scheduled to play Pakistan in October here in the UAE,” said Khan. “So me and Chairman Ehsan Mani are trying to convince them to tour Pakistan.”

He added: “If they disagree with our proposal, then we will try to convince them to play one or two Test matches in the country.”

Furthermore, he believes that if Sri Lanka agree to tour Pakistan, then PCB will be in a good position to begin talks with Bangladesh, regarding a possible tour of Pakistan.

“If it all goes well, then we would be in a good position to talk with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to send their team as they are schedule to face Pakistan in January next year,” he said.

He also highlighted the importance of bringing international cricket back in Pakistan.

“We are bearing a lot of expenses for hosting any team here in UAE. Fans are not coming in large numbers as well,” he said. “Which is why, it is very important that we should bring international cricket back to Pakistan.”

Commenting on Australia’s refusal to tour Pakistan, he said they have new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) so it was difficult decision for them.

“They have just hired new CEO and COO, so it was a difficult decision for them to take,” he said. “They didn’t even send their security team to visit Pakistan. Despite that they still left the door open for negotiations for a future tour.”

Most cricket nations have avoided touring Pakistan since 2009 when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, injuring six players and killing six security personnel and two civilians.

Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan in 2015 opened a gateway of International cricket in the country. Since that tour, World XI played Independence Cup, Sri Lanka played a T20I and West Indies played three-match T20I series in Karachi.

PCB also successfully hosted Pakistan Super League final in 2017 and playoffs and PSL final in 2018. This year, as many as eight matches of the league will be played in Karachi and Lahore, including the final, eliminator and playoffs.