Karachi: PCB chief Zaka Ashraf has said they would welcome any move by the Ireland Cricket Association to send its team to Pakistan for a tour. The Irish cricket chief executive recently said that they would like to send their team to Pakistan provided they were given full assurances and guarantee for the security of their team.
"I will be going to England for the Champions Trophy and will meet with the Irish cricket officials and try to clear any of their concerns over the security that will be provided to their team in Pakistan," Ashraf told reporters here. "I know it is not easy convincing boards to send their teams to Pakistan under the circumstances but the announcement by the Irish officials has come as a very positive development for us," he said.
No Test playing nation has visited Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. Six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed in the attack in which some Sri Lankan players were also wounded. Since 2009 only Afghanistan has sent its team to Pakistan while a world international XI, made up of retired players from different countries, came to Karachi last year to play two T20 matches.
The PCB also had to postpone its plans to hold a Super League T20 event this year in March with foreign players after the other boards were reluctant to give NOCs to their players due to security concerns. Ashraf said that the PCB was also in touch with some other boards with regards to convincing them to send their teams to Pakistan.
"It is a long process and we are willing to be patient. But it is also a fact that not having any international cricket in the country for last four years has been a financial burden for us and also affected the growth and performance of our players," he said. "That is why we would like to see Ireland play in Pakistan. Our desire would be to host them as soon as possible," he added.