Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan believes it is realistic to expect Australia and England to return to Pakistan under the current future tours programme, following the planned resumption of Test cricket in the country with Sri Lanka’s visit next month.
Khan hopes that Sri Lanka’s “hugely symbolic” return for two Tests, along with staging the entire Pakistan Super League in the country next year, will continue to change the perception about Pakistan.
The PCB has recently hosted Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts and his counterparts at the ECB, Tom Harrison, and Cricket Ireland, Warren Deutrom. Khan said that they all left with positive impressions of the security situation in Pakistan, and invitations to tour have been extended to South Africa, Ireland and Afghanistan, while Bangladesh are scheduled to tour in January under the Future Tour Programs.
“Do I think that’s realistic? Absolutely. Can it happen? I think it’s a case of ongoing dialogue working closely with players’ associations”, Khan said. “The first big step was to get Kevin and Tom to come over, which they committed to and really threw themselves into, which is superb. The FTP, the next two or three years, it gives us the opportunity to take small steps. It’s not going to happen overnight, we need to continue to build confidence on what we do.
“Our greatest selling point is word of mouth from players – 260 foreign players from across 15 countries registered for the draft, which shows how far we’ve come.
I’m hoping that will accelerate people’s thinking in wanting to come and visit. We just have to be consistent in our approach with every country,” Khan said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. Khan said that first-hand experience of Pakistan is the best way to see the progress that has been made.—APP