The PCB insists that the talks with Cricket Australia are “open and ongoing” so that Australia can play in Pakistan later this year. The Pakistani board wants CA to visit Pakistan for security before deciding whether to play ODI there, despite a CA spokesman who rules out that Australia could play in Australia over the weekend.
The two teams will play from the end of March five ODI mainly in the United Arab Emirates. As part of its efforts to bring international cricket back into the country, the PCB was anxious that Australia contest some games in Pakistan.
“We want international cricket to return to Pakistan – the country has a great passion for it,” the CA spokesman was quoted as saying.
“However, the safety of our players and support staff is a top priority and we will not endanger it, and we will continue to seek the advice of a number of government agencies and our own security services and act accordingly.
“At the moment, we are not thinking of taking over our current bilateral Pakistan travel packages against the United Arab Emirates when they host the next series, but we are open to the idea of playing in the country again Position in early January. “
The PCB confirmed that it had received this communication on 2 January. Five days later, Ehsan Mani, the chairman of the board, wrote to his CA colleague Earl Eddings, suggesting that the board should send at least one recce team to review the security arrangements.
“The head of PCB wrote a letter to the CA chairman on January 7, suggesting that the CA should send their recce team to Pakistan as part of a standard bilateral series protocol and process to get across to inform the security arrangements of Pakistan, “said a PCB spokesman to ESPNcricinfo.
“The PCB is still waiting for a response from the CA. Until the PCB learns more from the CA in its January 7 letter, we consider it an open and ongoing discussion.”
Australia is the only full member – apart from Ireland and Afghanistan – who joined last year to avoid traveling to Pakistan for the last 20 years. During this time, Pakistan has held bilateral international matches against Australia in Colombo, the United Arab Emirates and England.
In 2017, Australia toured Bangladesh after sending a security force to make sure the arrangements were made. This was a new tour from 2015 when they retired for safety reasons.
Some Australian players, including current Test Captain Tim Paine, have played in Pakistan. Paine was part of a World XI team that played three T20Is in Lahore in 2017, alongside Australians George Bailey and Ben Cutting.
Apart from this World XI series, Pakistan has organized a T20I against Sri Lanka – the targets of the 2009 terrorist attack that took the game off the land – and the Antilles. A number of PSL games have been staged in Lahore and Karachi, and PCB plans to play eight more this season.
“It would be great to get Cricket back in Pakistan,” said Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch on Friday. “The passion their fans have and the number of fans … (there are) some pretty empty stadiums in the United Arab Emirates.
“Whenever there is cricket in Pakistan, they swing from the rafters to get a seat. I’m not sure … that’s between the boards and the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) to work through. ”