Pakistan may host major ICC events in 2023-31 cycle
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered Pakistan to host global tournaments as the cricket’s governing body invites expression of interest from its members for the 2023-31 cycle.
Pakistan last staged an ICC event in 1996 when they co-hosted the 50-over World Cup with India and Sri Lanka. The south Asian country has been largely starved of international cricket since the 2009 attack on the touring Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.
"The PCB has expressed its interest in hosting ICC events during the 2023-31 events cycle," a Pakistan Cricket Board official was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We will work in line with ICC guidelines and look forward to submitting strong proposal in the coming months."
Pakistan played their first Test on home soil since 2009 against Sri Lanka in December and have hosted Bangladesh this year.
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney toured several member countries encouraging bids following the governing body's decision to select hosts of future events through a bidding process.
"We are extremely encouraged with the positive response we've received for the 2023-31 cycle," an ICC spokesman was quoted as saying. "We have had close to 100 offers with 18 members showing interest in holding the 28 events proposed for the cycle."
Uncertainty over Asia Cup
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said there is uncertainty surrounding the Asia Cup.
The tournament was scheduled to be held in September in the lead up to the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. Pakistan have the hosting rights for the tournament, which was scheduled to be played in T20 format this year.
"There's uncertainty over the Asia Cup. Nothing has been decided yet. The whole world is in an uncertain state," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. "You don't know what it will be like in September. Don't get me wrong but it will depend on a number of factors. Mere speculation won't help. Maybe the situation will be clearer in a month's time."