Ireland hopeful of touring Pakistan in near future after fruitful visit to the country by officials

Waseem Ahmed 13:13 12/10/2019
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Ireland could soon be touring Pakistan.

Cricket Ireland (CI) chief executive Warren Deutrom has been left impressed with the security measures put in place on his recent visit to Pakistan.

Deutrom, along with Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCollom, toured Islamabad and Lahore recently on the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Having been satisfied with the security conditions in the country, the CI official is now expecting Ireland to undertake a tour of Pakistan in 2020 or 2021.

“We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan,” Deutrom stated on his return to Ireland.

“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.

“What we saw in Islamabad and Lahore is the extraordinary lengths to which the cricket authorities, the security authorities, the government and police have gone; everyone has been working incredibly closely together to building that confidence.”

Pakistan were Ireland’s first opponents in the Test format last year after they were granted full ICC membership along with Afghanistan. Ireland are also due to host Pakistan for two T20 clashes next year in the summer before the Men in Green undertake their tour of England.

A formal invitation to tour Pakistan has not yet arrived for Ireland but the Cricket Ireland chief expects one to come in the near future.

“When we receive an invitation, we will go through the motions and will take it extremely seriously,” he stated.

“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 think that’s something we should take extremely seriously.”

Pakistan recently hosted Sri Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is at Karachi and Lahore respectively in what was a significant step towards expediting the return of full-fledged international cricket in the country.

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