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Pakistan may host India, South Africa in 2013

12 November, 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is anticipating to hosting arch rivals India and the South African cricket team in full-fledged series sometime in the later half of 2013, a source revealed on condition of anonymity.

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Though these series are not in the ICC Future Tour Programme but the PCB chief Zaka Ashraf is trying to convince these countries to tour Pakistan in a bid for revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Zaka Ashraf has created a special window in a bid to revive international cricket in Pakistan.

PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf is also hoping that Bangladesh may tour Pakistan in January prior to Pakistan tour of South Africa. If it happens then this will be another big achievement for Ch Zaka Ashraf and Pakistan will move one step closer to bring international cricket back to Pakistan.

The source revealed that Pakistan are scheduled to play three major home and away series in 2013-14 season, starting with tour to South Africa in January next year. The South Africa itinerary will be followed by a tour to West Indies in July and August, and a home series against the Proteas later in the year.

The West Indies tour comprising three Tests, One Day Internationals and T20 matches will be held after the last Champions Trophy to be played in England. Pakistan was also scheduled to play a short limited-overs series against Ireland prior to the esteemed tournament.

"The team will go to Caribbean after taking part in the Champions Trophy in England that will be held in June. Before the tournament we will also be playing a series against Ireland," the source said. South Africa is scheduled to tour Pakistan in October 2013, in the return leg of the bilateral series, but that would depend on the security situation in the country, added the source.

"If security issues lead to South Africa not wanting to play in Pakistan than obviously the other option is to host them at a neutral venue," he said.

The PCB is also hoping to convince the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send its players to Pakistan, sometime in the latter half of the year. After the West Indies tour the board has a window open in August-September, and is contemplating over inviting the Indian counterparts in this period. However, the source said that it is still an idea and it would be too early to confirm anything now.

"The idea is there and discussions on this will be held when Pakistan goes to India in December but it is too early to say anything concrete now," the source said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has not hosted an international cricket team since the 2009 militant attacks on the on-tour Sri Lankan squad in Lahore, and against India it dates back to February 2006.

The Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf had promised to bring international cricket back to Pakistan and sincerely working for the cause under a pre-planned strategy and that is bearing fruit. May Allah Mighty give him more successes and if he succeeded in bringing back international cricket to Pakistan his name will be written in golden words in the history of Pakistan cricket.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf is doing his best for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and his efforts started yielding fruit. It is being hoped that his sincere efforts will compel foreign team to visit Pakistan. Now it is depend on the Punjab government to keep politics away from sports and cope with the Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf for the provision of foolproof security to the visitors to avoid any untoward incident in future. Now ball is in the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif court and if he extends a helping hand to Pakistan Cricket Board Chief regarding provision of foolproof security to the visiting teams will help a lot and improve Pakistan image in the world.

End.