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Pakistan ready to play against India at neutral venue: PCB CEO

September 24, 2019 22:11 IST

'Cricket is a great way of bringing people together and cricket should remain cricket.'

IMAGE: Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan said Pakistan wants to resume bilateral ties with India. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan on Tuesday said playing their home matches in the United Arab Emirates is "not an option anymore", aiming to cut down on costs in light of the "improved security" situation in the country.

 

The UAE has remained Pakistan's home venue for a long time with no Test nation visiting the country since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.

"It costs us a lot of money hosting there," the chief executive officer said.

"Frankly speaking the security situation has improved in Pakistan and security experts have also assessed that we are in a position to manage security risks while hosting teams in the country," Khan added.

He said his board has not paid any money to Cricket Sri Lanka for its tour to Karachi and Lahore to play a series of One-day internationals and T20 matches.

Khan said that since PCB wants the Pakistan cricket team to play all their home Test and limited over series in Pakistan, it is trying to convince other boards to start sending their teams to the country.

Since 2010, a year after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, Pakistan have played all their major international home series in the UAE.

The PCB succeeded in bringing a World XI side to Lahore in 2017 for a short T20 series and then convinced Sri Lanka to play a lone T20 in the same city.

Last year they also hosted a depleted West Indies team for three T20 matches in Karachi, which came at the cost of extra money to the players and the concerned WICB by the PCB.

However, Khan said not a single penny has been paid to Sri Lanka for the current tour, as it was part of a reciprocal agreement.

He said that Pakistan also wants Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to come and play Pakistan's home Tests of the ICC Championship in the country in December and January.

The PCB official also said Pakistan wants to resume bilateral ties with India but that depends on their government.

"If they also express the desire to play against us we would be willing to even play at a neutral venue as it is important that India and Pakistan play cricket.

"Cricket is a great way of bringing people together and cricket should remain cricket. We will play with India. I will be happy to explore possibilities of playing them," Khan said.

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