ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Managing Director Waseem Khan looks highly positive about his meetings with different English Counties and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison and says cricket-mad Pakistani fans will soon hear a number of good news and witness great international cricketing activities at home grounds.

In an interview with The Nation, Waseem said: “PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and I have wonderful meetings with ECB CEO Tom Harrison, who will visit Pakistan in next three to four months. Pakistan and England are scheduled to play series in 2021-2022, but the ECB CEO is keen to travel to Pakistan and discuss in detail about the series.

“This is big news and very positive breakthrough, as his visit will open a new chapter of PCB and ECB relations. I also have great meetings with Cricket Australia’s chairman Earl Eddings and chief executive Kevin Roberts. They are also going to visit Pakistan in next few months. The things are moving in right direction and hopefully, the long-suffering Pakistani fans will be able to watch top international cricket teams and players playing in front of their own grounds.”

Waseem said: “I stayed for almost two weeks in England, met with different personalities and pleaded Pakistan cricket case. During my meetings with Warwickshire and Glamorgan counties regarding exchange programmes between Pakistani players and coaches, they have shown keen interest and we will soon prepare proposal in this regard. They will operate in academies there to gain experience.

“The exchange programme will not only benefit Pakistani youngsters, coaches and umpires, but also provide great help to both the counties. I have very constructive meeting with MCC and extended them invitation to bring a team to Pakistan to play matches here while they responded positively and promised to help Pakistan cricket next year. They are likely to tour in March next year,” he added.

About domestic cricket, the PCB Managing Director said: “We are moving forward for change in domestic cricket format and soon changes will be witnessed. We want to make Pakistan domestic cricket at par to any other top cricket-playing nation’s structure as without working on drastic changes in Pakistan domestic set up, we are not going to get even ordinary results.

“We need to introduce changes and have to work on modern lines as without working on domestic cricket, we won’t be able to compete against others. We will introduce model, which will not only revamp domestic structure, but also helpful in providing national team a number of players in near future,” he added.

Waseem said: “It is also decided to send Pakistan Under-19 cricket team to Sri Lanka to play five 50-over-aside matches starting from May 26 to June 5. It is revised schedule after bombings in Sri Lanka. We have received assurances from Sri Lanka and subject to security clearance. It is good for us as we are showing solidarity to Sri Lanka cricket and people of Sri Lanka. We also suffered terrorism and still suffering from it menace.

“Sri Lankan team has to tour Pakistan in September-October. We enjoy very cordial relations with Sri Lanka and we want to help them and expect the same from them. They always supported Pakistan cricket and hopefully, they will have a very successful tour of Pakistan.”

He said that it is high time when the international teams should feel safe and visit to Pakistan to play matches. “Pakistani people are famous for their love, respect and hospitality for their guests. The next few months are very crucial for Pakistan cricket as a number of important personalities are coming to Pakistan within next few months and the long-suffering Pakistan cricket fans will be witnessing a lot of festivity,” Waseem concluded.