By Ehsan Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
It will be a double jolt for Pakistan cricket if England don't fulfill their commitment of touring for a couple Twenty20 Internationals, following New Zealand’s sudden departure for yet to be undisclosed security threat.
Along with the millions of lovers in the country, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also eagerly awaiting the decision of England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in this regard which is expected any moment now.
England’s brief tour to Pakistan is of vital importance considering next year's visits to be undertaken by Australia and the West Indies.
This will be a big test of the ECB as Pakistan have given a lot of sacrifices by touring England during Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and staying there for quite few months.
The PCB and the Pakistani cricketers showed great character by touring England a time when the pandemic was peaking and their families back home had to keep praying for their safety. The players endured tough life inside the bubble, away from family and friends, without complaining.
Former England cricketers, including captains, have expressed their solidarity with the PCB and cricket-loving public of Pakistan and millions of their supporters across the world.
It had shocked the world, PCB, Babar Azam Team Pakistan and in particular general public.
Pakistan cricket has suffered greatly after the terrorists attack on the Sri Lankan bus in 2009 just outside Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Since then the PCB has had to work really hard to convince foreign teams to play on the Pakistan soil.
Teams from Zimbabwe, West Indies and South Africa have toured Pakistan and praised highest level security arrangements in the recent past. By successfully organizing the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2020 and 2021, the security apprehensions about Pakistan were dispelled as the dozens of foreign participants in the PSL highly appreciated the efficiency of Pakistan’s security agencies.
The iconic West Indies batsman, Chris Gayle, warmed the hearts of Pakistanis with his tweet that he was going to Pakistan. Who was coming with him was to be seen!
The T20 World Cup West Indies winning captain, Darren Sammy, complimented Pakistan’s security agencies besides praising excellent hospitality of people and franchise owner. Sammy led Peshawar Zalmi to the PSL crown as their head coach.