The Pakistan Cricket Team have endured a torrid decade ever since the terror attack on the Sri Lanka team in March 2009 stopped international tours to the country. Many international teams have refused to tour the country and Pakistan were forced to play their 'home' series in the United Arab Emirates. However, in the interim, some teams did tour the country. Zimbabwe ended Pakistan's international isolation when they toured for three ODIs in 2015 and this was followed by tours by the ICC World XI, the West Indies team, Sri Lanka in 2017. Now, the Sri Lankan cricket team will play three ODIs and three T20Is after much deliberation over the security of the country.
Looking at the situation, Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan has said playing matches in the UAE is'not an option' anymore as they look to cut down on costs and capitalise on the improving security situation at home.
"It costs us a lot of money hosting there. Frankly speaking the security situation has improved in Pakistan and security experts have also assessed that we are in a position to manage security risks while hosting teams in the country," PCB CEO Wasim Khan said, adding that Pakistan had not paid any money to the Sri Lankan team to tour the country.
Pakistan has expressed interest to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to play Test matches in the World Test Championship against them at home and not in a neutral venue. However, in the case of India, the PCB CEO wanted the resumption of bilateral ties and also proposed that matches between India and Pakistan can take place in a neutral venue.
"If they also express the desire to play against us we would be willing to even play at a neutral venue as it is important that India and Pakistan play cricket. Cricket is a great way of bringing people together and cricket should remain cricket. We will play with India. I will be happy to explore possibilities of playing them," Wasim Khan said.
The first match of the series against Sri Lanka will begin on September 27 and it will three ODIs at the National Stadium in Karachi. The ODI series will be followed by an three-match Twenty20 International series which will take place in Lahore.