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‘No reason why England and Australia shouldn’t tour Pakistan’ – Wasim Khan

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Wasim Khan, the PCB managing director, believes that after the MCC’s successful tour of Pakistan in early 2020, England and Australia should follow suit in the coming years, as the board eyes a complete return of international cricket to the country.

The Kumar Sangakkara-led MCC XI played a series of four matches against Lahore Qalandars, Pakistan Shaheens, Northern and Multan Sultans in February this year. Now, with the PCB negotiating with the England and Wales Cricket Board over arrangements for Pakistan’s summer tour of England in 2020, Khan is hopeful that a favourable outcome there would lead to England returning the favour by touring Pakistan next year.

“It’s a tough situation for everyone right now, and I don’t think it’s fair to take advantage of the situation,” Khan said to reporters in Lahore. “The most important thing for us is to revive the game for all countries. If we don’t, we will be facing a lot of problems going forward.

“The next 12 months will be tough for cricket financially. Thankfully, the PCB is fine for the next 12 months, but thereafter, in 18 months’ time, we will also have problems. Hopefully, by then, cricket will resume, and I don’t think we are going to take our discussion with the ECB [from the point of view of a return tour], but we will definitely talk about it when we tour them.

“Look, the MCC toured Pakistan, an Australia delegation came as well, so there is no reason why England and Australia shouldn’t be here in 2021 and 2022.”

Khan did say, however, that the PCB will not make any decision in haste simply in a bid to get countries to tour Pakistan in return. The health and safety of its players, Khan said, will remain of paramount importance, as the UK, one of the worst-hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic, looks to revive activity in a graded manner.

“Health and safety is paramount for our players and officials, and we are not going to compromise on it,” Khan said. “The situation in England is poor right now, and we will ask them about their plans. We are not making any decisions, but we will assess and decide in next three to four weeks.

“This isn’t an easy situation, and it isn’t an easy decision to make, because things are changing every day in England. There are so many things to be considered – flights, hotels, and they are talking about bio-security stadiums, so if people ask me, I will tell them to wait and be patient.We are looking forward to the May 15 meeting and will see what are the options.”

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