Ireland express interest in touring Pakistan for cricket series
Cricket Ireland’s chief executive made the statement ahead of Ireland cricket team’s debut Test against Pakistan cricket team beginning on Friday.cricket Updated: May 10, 2018 12:44 IST
In what could be termed a major boost to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) efforts to regularize the conduct of international cricket matches in the country, Ireland has expressed interest in touring Pakistan for a cricket series in future.
Speaking ahead of Ireland’s historic Test debut against Pakistan in Dublin on Friday, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said that his country is open to the possibility of touring Pakistan.
“We’ve seen West Indies’ recent tour which went well. We’ve also seen that some PSL matches were held in Lahore and Karachi and went off well. Before taking any decision we will definitely discuss the situation with ICC security and take input from Pakistan itself, but I can see that in the near future, a tour to Pakistan is possible,” Deutrom was quoted as saying by Pakistan’s Daily Express.
However, the prospect of organising the tour in near future is in doubt considering Pakistan have a packed schedule leading to 2019 ICC World Cup. Their home season this year features an Asia Cup in the UAE, matches against Australia and New Zealand, and the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The team will also travel to South Africa.
PCB chairman Najam Sethi, who is travelling to Dublin for the one-off Test, has also made it clear that organising a tour in the next 12 months is going to be difficult.
“There is no such item for discussion on my Dublin trip agenda. The fact is that Pakistan has no slot available outside our FTP for the next twelve months,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
This is not the first time that Ireland have shown interest in touring Pakistan. Nearly four years ago, they were very close to finalizing a tour to Pakistan but a terrorist attack on the Karachi airport brought curtains down on their plans.
Since then, Pakistan have hosted a handful of big games including two PSL finals, two T20I series against a World XI and West Indies, and a solitary T20I against Sri Lanka.
Earlier, the PCB made an offer to New Zealand Cricket to play one of their T20Is in Pakistan later this year.