The Kenya cricket team will arrive in Lahore on 11th December for a 5-match one-day cricket series against Pakistan A. International cricket has remained suspended in Pakistan following the attack on Sri Lanka in 2009, leaving people cricket-starved and players deprived of the opportunity to play international cricket at home. There are several players in the squad who have in fact never played an ODI or Test match in Pakistan; something that all sportsmen dream of accomplishing one day. Although Kenya vs Pakistan A is not the ultimate fixture, it is certainly better than nothing.

The development ought to be viewed as a new beginning. If everything goes well, it will help restore confidence in the international community, which is currently hesitant towards visiting Pakistan due to security concerns. They have good reasons. The country’s security situation has prevented it from providing a safe environment for international cricket and denied things that come along with it. There is plenty of revenue to be generated from such tournaments, including the money that is made from advertisements. It will also enable Pakistan’s first-class cricketers to test their skills and prepare for tournaments that lie ahead. If nothing else, the ODI series will attract crowds into stadiums that have remained vacant for far too long now. In the absence of avenues for entertainment, cricket has always been an escape for Pakistanis, something that has made them cry and jump with joy; a game that they love passionately.

Playing in front of a home crowd can be the most stressful experience for Pakistani cricketers. That is also why it is highly rewarding. What they stand to learn through home cricket cannot be replaced with any amount of games played abroad. It is critical for developing confidence, strengthening domestic cricket and promotion of the game. Pakistan has been losing business on the cricket front, which means less revenue for all parties involved. On the other hand, India has introduced and sustained IPL, which has not only done wonders for its domestic circuit but also allowed to generate revenue. They compete with the best in the world at home, which increases their chances of success at the international stage. All the while, Pakistan is at a serious disadvantage because of its security problem. It is hoped that the relevant authorities will ensure foolproof security for the event, and by the end of it, Pakistan will have a better case to make before the rest of the world.