PCB Chief Ehsan Mani urges Australia to return to Pakistan for bilateral series

Australia are scheduled to play five one-day internationals against Pakistan in March 2019.

Australia currently playing Test series in the UAE | Getty Images

Ehsan Mani, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has urged the Cricket Australia (CA) and its players to make a visit to the country for bilateral series. He also wants big international teams likes of New Zealand and England also return to play cricket in Pakistan.

Australia is scheduled to play five One-Day Internationals against Pakistan in March ahead of World Cup 2019 with no venues announced for the series at the moment.

However, CA is yet to receive an official request to play next year's ODI series in Pakistan, but Australian Board is understood to be cautious amid lingering security concerns about a return to the Asian country.

Mani had discussed regarding the same with CA officials, including incoming chief executive Kevin Roberts, who was in Abu Dhabi for the start of the second Test, saying they should consider a return to Pakistan for the first time in two decades.

Meanwhile, the PCB chairman is also hoping that the international matches would be held in the country very soon while citing the countries like Zimbabwe, West Indies, and Sri Lanka, who have already returned to Pakistan for the limited-overs cricket.

Mani said on October 17, “I am yet to meet people who once they’ve been to Pakistan have any concerns about going there. On the sidelines, we’ve certainly raised this with them, that they should consider this. Obviously, Cricket Australia’s got a new CEO, he’s got to go back and do his due diligence.”

He signed off by saying, “It will certainly happen sooner or later. It’s a matter of comfort levels. We are getting PSL matches played in Pakistan, foreign players are coming for that. We’ve had a couple of other teams come and play, but I really want Australia, New Zealand, and England to come.”

Noteworthy, Australia hasn’t toured Pakistan since 1998, though, Test captain Tim Paine had visited the country as a part of a World XI three-match T20 tour last year.

International matches have been rarely held in Pakistan ever since a 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, though, they have hosted various countries for limited-overs series in recent years.

(Input: ESPNCricinfo)

By Rashmi Nanda - 18 Oct, 2018

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