The state of Pakistan and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proved time and again that the country is a safe, hospitable and exciting venue to play cricket in. There were undoubtedly concerns in the past but over the course of the intervening years and numerous successful and popular series later those questions have been answered. The conclusion of the recent Test series against Sri Lanka is an emphatic full stop in this sentence – we have hosted all manner of nationalities, in all manner of cities, across all formats.

Therefore it is time that the PCB starts asserting its rights under the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules and ensures that all future tours are played according to the defined schedule. This means tours in Pakistan will be held in Pakistan’s home territory and not some “neutral venue” like Sharjah or Dubai. PCB has compromised in the past, in the interest of slowly building capacity and keeping the matches coming, now it has to stand firm.

The upcoming Bangladesh series in Pakistan will the first test of this resolve. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has indicated that while it is willing to play the shorter formats of the game in Pakistan it wants the Test matches to be held in a neutral venue. This demand makes no sense – the security considerations are the same if the team is here for a short T20 series or a longer Test series. If the BCB is satisfied with security in the former it is incomprehensible why it would doubt it in the later.

Understandably, it is never easy to play a drawn out series in the home ground of the opponent, especially if there is political history between them, but that is the imperative and beauty of sport, it forces sportsmen to rise to the challenge.

The PCB must stay firm on holding the series in Pakistan. If the matter has to go to the ICC for arbitration, so be it.