crystal-ball

Will international cricket return to Pakistan?

Even when the Zimbabwe team came, there was all this talk of international cricket returning to Pakistan. But the question is: Is Lahore Pakistan? We have fine cricket stadiums all over Pakistan and the focus shouldn’t be just on Lahore. Holding the final in Lahore was a fine step and people thoroughly enjoyed it. However, if you have cricket with five tiers of security the fun goes out of the game. Moreover, several foreign players from the Quetta team did not come despite such security measures in place. My point is, one event cannot open the flood gates of international cricket in Pakistan. It will take time. Chishty Mujahid Cricket commentator and former PCB director
I’m not too sure if the deployment of 3,000 security personnel for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final would have sent a positive message to international observers. International cricket cannot return after staging just one match or a series, especially given the high security preventing easy movement of players and locals. However, the PSL final in Lahore has surely given Pakistani fans something to cheer about. The entire country anticipated the encounter with great energy, which was also evident in the way they turned out in large numbers at the Qaddafi Stadium on match day. I would say it sent a positive message everywhere that Pakistanis are a sports-loving nation and the league, in its entirety, has somehow managed to reinvent the passion for the game. In order to truly revive international cricket, many such baby steps need to be taken. The journey is not easy. Rishad Mahmood Sports Editor, Dawn Group of Newspapers
Maybe holding the PSL final (in Lahore) will pave the way for smaller countries (to come), but the incredible security needed might spook major nations. I can’t see Australia, South Africa or England feeling more relaxed about playing in Pakistan. It’s just another step; we won’t know unless players start talking about how comfortable they are in going there in the next year or so. (That will indicate) whether it is really important. Maybe players went there because it helped them financially. If that is the case, that means international cricket will need a few more things to happen before teams decide to tour there again. We could eradicate terrorism in our time. But short of that, perhaps a five-star hotel within the grounds of major stadiums! Focus the security in one area; you don’t need to shut down the whole city. Jarrod Kimber Cricket writer, ESPN Cricinfo
The PSL was an absolute waste of time, money and resources. All the big names that we had in the league were either retired or had been rejected from their own teams except perhaps a few. The entire PSL should have been played in Pakistan; and not just in one city, but in all major cities. That would have sent a positive message to the world. The PCB is not bankrupt. If we can play everywhere in the world, then we can easily afford to do it in Pakistan as well. Moreover, the PSL wasn’t even economically feasible. It was played with double, triple the expenses, which should have instead been invested in local cricket. Mohsin Hasan Khan Former Pakistan Test cricketer
The PSL final in Lahore was a milestone for Pakistan cricket in recent years. I was reminded of the days when we used to play in front of such an electric crowd. It will surely go a long way in bringing international cricket back to our grounds; not just in Lahore, but in other cities as well. Now we need to build on it by staging a few more matches at home in the next edition. It will be a gradual process. The security situation has improved a lot and God willing it will only get better from here onwards. There’s an incomparable joy that’s derived from playing in your own country and our players know it well. Tauseef Ahmed Pakistan selector and former Test cricketer