Within days of revoking a planned tour to Pakistan, now the English Cricket Board (ECB) has come up with something that may please the cricket fans in the country. Earlier, the ECB had claimed that the primary consideration for its decision to pull out from the ODI matches in Pakistan was the welfare and mental health of its players and staff. Their decision came after New Zealand announced that it will not be participating in the series inside Pakistan due to ‘security threat’ to the team. However, the ECB chief has stated that the team will be touring Pakistan next year with a better planned and scheduled trip. This is a positive news for Pakistan as it gives hope and waters down the negative rhetoric surrounding the security situation in the country. The issue has been highlighted so much because it is imperative for the country to host foreign teams so that the international cricket is resumed in Pakistan. There has been an improvement in the prospects of the resumption of the international cricket in Pakistan since 2009 when the Sri Lankan team was attacked. In 2015, Zimbabwe’s cricket team toured Pakistan. Moreover, when Pakistan hosted the Pakistan Super League matches in the country, many foreign players gladly came to Pakistan and played for various teams in front of a charged crowd. That is the beauty of the sport. However, New Zealand and England’s tours would have been monumental and their visit would have restored Pakistan’s status as a responsible host for the international cricket matches.
Regardless of what New Zealand and England authorities have done recently, Pakistan needs to improve its security situation and more than that, its image in the foreign media. Currently, Pakistan is being associated with the Taliban government in Afghanistan which is why its security situation may be perceived as weak even if it is claimed to be strong. On the flipside, the foreign teams must consider the fact that Pakistan went and played in New Zealand after the Christchurch attack and in England during the strongest wave of the Coronavirus. Therefore, teams from these countries can also give Pakistan a chance. If the ECB keeps its words and tours Pakistan next year, the international cricket scene of Pakistan may once again be rejuvenated. Pakistan will once again enter the league of those countries that host cricket matches and this will help promote a soft image of the country along with major economic gains.