Dubai: Pakistan cricket fans in the UAE may miss out on watching their nation play international matches in UAE after gap of a decade. Ever since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had been staging their international matches in UAE.
Speaking to Gulf News, a source at the PCB said: “Efforts are on to stage our international home matches in Pakistan, rather than outside the country in the UAE. The series against Sri Lanka from September 27 will be made up of three One-Day Internationals and three T20 internationals, to be held in Karachi and Lahore, is a start.”
The PCB has convinced the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to play in Pakistan. Though it was the Sri Lankan team that faced the terror attack ten years ago, the move is being seen as a positive one from the island nation. It is understood that Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain-turned-politician, in his current capacity as prime minister, has asked PCB officials to convince all teams to play in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka will also play two Test matches in Pakistan this December. The Pakistan Super League (PSL), which has been staged regularly, since its inception, in the UAE, barring the final stages, may also be held in Pakistan except for a few initial matches. “Efforts are on to stage at least 34 PSL matches in Pakistan, especially in Lahore and Karachi.”
UAE’s three international venues: the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Dubai International Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium may thus find themselves inactive, unlike in the past, during the coming winter months. UAE fans, however, can get to watch some top international stars in action with the third edition of the T10 League to be held in November at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium.
A unique 90-ball cricket league to be held in Sharjah has also been mooted, but it has not yet been granted the seal of approval by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). Soon after the organisers announced the staging of this new-format tournament, ECB issued a statement, saying: “It has come to the attention of the Emirates Cricket Board that a new tournament is proposed for 2020. ECB confirms it has neither sanctioned nor approved any new tournament for the 2019-2020 season at this time.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan is pushing for Australia and England to also play their series in Pakistan than in the UAE. Cricket board chief from Australian and England have agreed to visit Pakistan next month for discussions. If all goes well, Australia may play their series in Pakistan next year and England in 2021.