AASIF SHEIKH — Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been taking measures for the revival of cricket in Pakistan and over the period of time, this has proven to be moving in the right direction.
In the last 3 years, with the Introduction of the PSL which was hosted in UAE in the first year and the following year the final was played in Lahore and this year there were play-offs in Lahore and the final was in Karachi, which was witnessed by many on the ground and without any surprise, tickets were sold the same day.
World XI was invited to play matches which was once again a great success to bring cricket back to Pakistan and the players who visited were pleased with the progress of PCB.
West Indies 3 T20 series played in Karachi was a clear message that cricket is moving back to Pakistan and players are feeling okay to play although this series the big names were missing from the West Indies side, but those who attended, most of them are part of the regular West Indies national side.
Considering the efforts put in to bring cricket back, the question is, have we been able to communicate the message to the rest of the world, that cricket is safe to play in Pakistan? Well we will have to wait and see how the next year is planned and how many matches are scheduled to be played at in Pakistan. To have the cricket played, how it used to be will take time regardless of what we say today but the foundation is laid to be driven for those who will come and maintain the relationship with other boards on how NajamSethi has done so far and if the policies are not changed and action plan is clear we can expect some great names and teams coming to Pakistan to play cricket by 2020.
Players across the world are keen to play in PSL which is not yet at the heights of what IPL, Big Bash etc. but it is making its way to catch-up and it will very soon and has the edge to take it a bit further to the big T20 leagues around the world.
Sports play a key role for a better relationship between countries and supporting each other, keeps peace among themselves and this is the message that we need to take on board and shake hands to play more and more cricket.
The passion for cricket in Pakistan is huge and one can’t imagine the level it gets to compared to other countries but India and Pakistan fans are incomparable and they attract the biggest crowd where the body language of the players and the fans are at a hype and one can see each ball, everyone is involved so these both countries should play more cricket together to entertain their fans which they want to see as IPL is played by all except Pakistani players although PSL is open for all.