10 years after the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore, Test cricket is all set to return to Pakistan when they host Sri Lanka for a two-match series in Rawalpindi and Karachi which will be a part of the ICC World Test Championships.
Sri Lanka had earlier toured Pakistan in September for a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series and as many Twenty-20 Internationals (T20I). While the ODI series was won 2-0 by Pakistan, Sri Lanka had defeated Pakistan 3-0 in the shortest format.
After the success of Pakistan Super League, a string of international players have supported the return of international cricket to Pakistan.
Moeen Ali is among the players who hope that international cricket will soon be back to Pakistan like the earlier days. He believes the sooner cricket returns to the country, the better it will be for the game as a whole.
“The world needs international cricket to be brought back to Pakistan. Obviously, there are other issues at hand that need to be looked at when we speak of bringing international tours to Pakistan, but the sooner we can do it, the better it is for the game of cricket as a whole,” Ali was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“From what I hear, it is an amazing place to play cricket and the following for the game is huge there. I am sure that the Pakistani players would love to play international games in front of their own crowds and the way things are progressing, this will hopefully happen sooner than later on a regular basis,” Ali, whose forefathers are of Pakistani origin, said.
In March 2009, Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus was subjected to a terror attack near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore when the team were heading towards the stadium to play the second day of the third Test against Pakistan.
Since then international cricket in Pakistan took a back seat as teams from across the world rejected to travel the country due to security concerns.
However, in recent times, teams like Zimbabwe, Kenya and now Sri Lanka have shown their faith and have played in the country.
Also with the playoff matches of the star-studded Pakistan Super League (PSL) being staged in Pakistan, instead of the United Arab Emirates which host the maximum number of matches, mainstream cricket is on a quest of redemption there.
The next PSL is all set to be organised completely in Pakistan and Ali is also expected to take part in it.