Despite a rather disappointing end to an otherwise excellently contested bilateral series against New Zealand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the team seem to be headed in the right direction. As the squad bullishly prepares for tough tour of South Africa, cricket fans from across the country can rejoice upon hearing the news that not only will the next edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) hold 8 matches inside the country; Pakistan has also won the right to host the 2020 Asia Cup – also in the T20 format.

For a nation that was parched for domestic cricket and entertainment, the events are now coming thick and fast. More importantly, the steady increase in the number of matches played inside the country is a marker of the PCB’s and civil authorities’ confidence in their ability, as well as a testament to the improving security conditions. The ultimate objective – all matches held inside the country and all franchises playing within their respective cities – is still a long way off, but still within sight

However, the 2020 Asia Cup comes much earlier than that imagined date, and it is this event which has the potential to serve as the next, and higher, watermark in the quest to “bring cricket home”. While Pakistan did host the ODI Asia Cup earlier this year it was held entirely inside the United Arabs Emirates (UAE); Pakistan’s adopted home ground. Hence not being different from how Pakistan has been hosting international teams before.

If a few matches, or just even the final, of the Asia Cup is played inside Pakistan, it would elevate Pakistan’s standing in this gradual ascent to normalcy and make future bilateral series inside the country much more feasible – especially with its Asia neighbours. Not to mention the potential excitement it would arouse in cricket fans of the Subcontinent.

Pakistan has won the right to host the Cup; it has yet not decided the venue. Every effort must be made to hold the final in Pakistan.