Is Pakistan ready to host again?

Published: January 28, 2012

Screen capture from the attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009.

In 2009 when the Sri Lankan team arrived in Lahore, much was said about their security, or the lack of it, after armed men were able to ambush their vehicle with ease. At the time of their arrival at the airport, the security protocol suggested that improvement was needed. But at that point the most worrying aspect was being hoarded by fans’ excitement or the media.

Few thought a gun attack was in the making that would cause casualties and injuries.

But it happened and, despite ‘intelligent’ reports, a targeted and planned attack was to take away international cricket and the hosting rights of the World Cup. Since then, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has fought and begged to bring back Test-playing nations to the country.

Failing to do so, since the government never seems to manage a grip on the security situation given that it’s not on its priority list – they have enough personal issues of their own – desperate times called for pretty desperate measures.

The newly-appointed PCB struck a deal with Bangladesh – and given our big hearts and a historic tendency to strike deals at every meeting – to back their nomination as president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and in return, arrange a cricket tour of Pakistan. As hopes revived for the return of international cricket, minor details are still being ignored.

The ministry has assured ‘fool-proof’ security, provided a visit by a Bangladesh security team – which is yet to be finalised – approves of the situation. The return of international cricket can still not be assured since teams like Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka – if they overcome their 2009 trauma – would still be hesitant.

We’ve already seen the dedication of extremist groups and slackness of our security agencies. A promise, that too from our government already facing uncertainty over its own future, is hardly trustworthy especially since by the time a tour is arranged, changes at the helm could have taken place.

While I hope a miracle can persuade the return of top-flight international cricket to Pakistan – the public and venues badly need it – a lot of dedication by a lot of individuals would be required.

Do you think Pakistan is ready to host cricket matches?

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Bilal Memon

The author is the business editor of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ali_

    Obviously!!! Nowadays they are only attacking shias. And there is no shia in Bangladesh Cricket team.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Just ask yourself what will Pakistan be like in the next 5 years and you will get the answer if Pakistan will host a Cricket match in the near future.

    To think that if Partition hadn’t happened India too would have been ostracized by the International Sporting community is a scary thought. Recommend

  • Faust


    Are things any better than they were in 2009?

    You could make a strong case that they’re worse.Recommend

  • Rukhsar

    Well providing security isnt public’s problem.its govrnmnt’s duty
    We need cricket back to Pakistan 14c Pakistanis are dying to watch matches on home groundRecommend

  • Parvez

    Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharja are all excellent alternatives and we seem to win over there.
    Why spoil a good thing when so many ifs and buts are involved with hosting in Pakistan.
    Security would fall under the Inerior Ministry now that in itself if a major no-no. Recommend

  • Majid Urrehman

    No, I don’t think so! Wait for some more time.Recommend

  • Awais Khan

    The security will have to remain extra vigilant and the law enforcement agencies will have to prevent the terrorists from developing and using improvised explosives, which are not only used in bombings, but also suicide attacks.Recommend

  •!/Pugnate Noman Ansari
  • Tribune Reader

    I still do not think, that the Attack on the Sri Lankan team was a coincidence, the timing of it, makes it very suspicious. Who benefited the most from that attack, no prizes for guessing.Recommend

  • sars

    Actually even before security issues made it impossible , most teams hated to tour Pakistan.

    Now why would any team (not made up of suicidal players) risk their lives to play cricket when they dont have to. Until security is not guaranteed for the common man, no team should play here.
    If that is incentive for us to clean up the mess we have become so be it Recommend

  • Aasim

    @ Tribune Reader

    I still do not think, that the Attack on the Sri Lankan team was a coincidence, the timing of it, makes it very suspicious. Who benefited the most from that attack, no prizes for guessing.

    I agree to your thoughts and very much believe in the same. But my dear the fact is when you know that your enemy is hunting you down big time, and is ready to drain the last drop of blood from your body, you keep yourself prepared. Our security forces lacked preperation, and didnt just lacked preperation, they screwed it big time. I dont think we should make haste in bringing International Cricket to Pakistan, but instead we should wait and make sure that we are fully prepared to host the game. If we mess it the second time, then there aint be any 3rd chance, and International Cricket will be gone forever..Recommend