LAHORE    -      Cricket Ireland’s Chief Executive Warren Deutrom has said that his country will like to play its part in assisting to get international cricket back to Pakistan.  “Ireland is now a Test nation and we certainly feel it is important that we play our part in being a mature and grown-up member of the cricket family. We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan,” Deutrom said while talking to PCB Podcast.

Deutrom, who along with Cricket Ireland’s Chairman Ross McCollum spent five days in Pakistan on a PCB invitation, expressed happiness to visit Islamabad and Lahore. “It is a great pleasure to be here and we have been treated fabulously well. The courtesy, the generosity, the hospitality, the warmth, the love of cricket is plainly obvious for anyone to see.

“To be honest and just at a very human level until you see it with yourself, you come with a set of conceptions or preconceptions. And I think this visit, which was generously made at the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board, would begin to change those perceptions,” he said.

Deutrom said Cricket Ireland board’s meeting would be held by the end of ongoing month wherein they would like to convey to it whatever they had seen in Pakistan. He said they would be telling the board about the remarkable steps that had been taken by the PCB to instill the confidence in other cricket boards around the world.

“We will do what we will always have always done, engage with our governments and insurers, and talk to our players. We will speak with the other boards that have been here in the past. Obviously, Sri Lanka Cricket, and then, we need to wait for an invitation.

“When we receive an invitation, we will go through the motions and will take it extremely seriously. There is no date set. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if that date or if that invitation was received by the end of the year for a tour taking place, perhaps next year, maybe the year after, I don’t know. I think that’s something we should take extremely seriously,” he added. The two sides are schedule to play a two-match T20 International series in Ireland, next year.

 

Speaking with the PCB Podcast, Tom Harrison said: “This is really an important trip for us. We were invited by the PCB to come and look at the security provisions that are put in place to host big cricket international events. And, it is very important for us to see that first-hand, to meet key players in that security team, all of the decision-makers and work-out the steps that we need to take to assess the viability of an England tour of Pakistan in the future.

“Obviously, we have got a bit of time and that’s really important for us. We have been liaising with all of the right people over here, whether that is our High Commission in Islamabad, whether it is the Director of Security or Ministry of Interior and all of the various police forces.

“We had a real look at the incredible work that is going on in Lahore with the Safe City Project and the extraordinary reaction to past incidents that has been put in place here. And that’s been incredibly impressive.”

Talking about the next steps, Harrison said: “Now we need to take all that information home and start building towards a plan to put in place over the next few years to make it safe for us to consider coming here and fulfilling that obligation in the second half of 2022.

Looking ahead to Pakistan’s next year’s tour of England for three World Test Championship Tests and three T20Is, the ECB Chief Executive said: “We love hosting Pakistan. It’s been fun to see the engagement of our English cricket community with Pakistan cricket team, particularly in the short format. “The Pakistan cricket team has added so much colour, vibrancy and atmosphere to our summers over the last few years. It will look modest without Pakistan visiting.”