Bangladesh Team In Lahore – Will It benefit Pakistan?

In recent few years, Pakistan has faced many problems regarding cricket. After the attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team way back in 3 March 2009 at Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan lost its rights to host matches at home. The first major setback came in shape of Pakistan losing its rights to host the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The World Cup was supposed to be hosted by Pakistan in their hometown, but due to security conditions in Pakistan, the venue was shifted. The hosting rights were then given to India and Sri Lanka. In that World Cup, India became the World Champion, defeating Sri Lankan Cricket Team in the final.

Since 3 March 2009, Pakistan lost its rights to host an international match in their home grounds. The venue for Pakistan was changed to UAE. The Pakistani team was facing serious allegations and at that time, there appeared a news of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir involved in spot fixing in a test match against England Cricket Team. This added fuel to fire for Pakistan and the trio was sent to jail and they faced ban for several years. In those conditions, Misbah-Ul-Haq was announced as the captain of Pakistan National Cricket Team. He captained the side affected by serious damages and kept the cricket of Pakistan going at that time.

Since then, no other team visited Pakistan for any kind of international match. Pakistan suffered very much during those days. Then, the UAE was termed as home ground of Pakistan and Pakistan started hosting home matches in the deserts of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, etc.

In 2015, Zimbabwe became the first team to play a T20 match in Pakistan. The venue was decided to be Lahore and serious type of security was provided to the guests. All the security forces made sure the safety on Zimbabwe Cricket Team and kept an eye on every aspect that could disturb the match. The whole Lahore was jammed. There was a show down kin Lahore. This was the match that changed the history of Pakistan Cricket. The Qaddafi Stadium Lahore was jam packed and the crowd was cheering for Zimbabwe. These were very rare scenes where the home crowd supported the guests more than their own national team. Luckily, the T20 series came to an end without any disturbance.

After that series, a World XI Team visited Pakistan to play a few T20 matches. Pakistan Cricket Team won that series by 2-1. The likes of Thisara Perera, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir and Faf Du Plessis were included in the World XI Squad. Then, the Sri Lankan Cricket Team visited Pakistan for only a single T20 which was also hosted peacefully.

West Indies team visited the grounds of Pakistan and that series was also finished with blessings. Luckily, all the matches being hosted in Pakistan didn’t face any disturbance. After this, Pakistan started hosting PSL Matches in Pakistan also. Initially, Lahore was the only venue selected for all matches which were supposed to be hosted in Pakistan. The hosting phenomenon gained momentum and now, we will watch the whole PSL-5 being hosted in Pakistan. The Sri Lankan Team visited Pakistan for another series and the event was hosted to a great extent of safety.

Coming towards the series between Pakistan and Bangladesh, being hosted in Pakistan, there aroused many this and that types of conditions. The Bangladesh Cricket Board was unwilling to send its National Team to Pakistan. Firstly, the gave the excuse of worse security conditions in Central and East Asia and humorously the security condition there had nothing to do with matches hosted in Pakistan. They urged the PCB to play matches in Bangladesh or at a neutral venue. Ehsan Mani, the Chairman of PCB cleared its stance of hosting its matches in Pakistan. Then some of the Bangladeshi players started making excuses of security. There was a complete example of several matches being hosted in Pakistan without any security issues. Luckily, the lame excuses of BCB started gaining hypocrisy and the Board for Cricket in Bangladesh gave clearance about security conditions and sent its team to Pakistan.

Now, Pakistan is hosting 3 T20Is series being played at their home ground. Back then, an important player of Bangladesh, Mushfiq-Ul-Rahim stated that his family is unwilling to send him to Pakistani soil just because of security conditions. Pakistani fans trolled the former Captain of Bangladesh Cricket Team in a humorous way and he became the apple of everyone’s eye. Pakistan Cricket Board was happy to see the Bangladeshi Cricket Team playing matches in Pakistan. Later on, a single ODI and 2 Test Matches will also be played at soil of Pakistan. The point of discussion is that the Bangladesh Cricket Team will play a test match in Pakistan and will return to their home and will come back for the final Test Match. This came handy and many trolled the hypocritical idea of BCB.

Well, coming to the main topic: Will it benefit Pakistan? The answer is somehow ‘yes’. It must be noted that any Non-Asian Cricket Team hasn’t visited Pakistan. It is the main concern for Pakistan Cricket Team. The arrival of Bangladesh Cricket Team will help the revival of cricket in Pakistan but not to a great extent. Pakistan is making serious plans to invite the South African Cricket Team. We can’t say at the moment when will Australia, New Zealand and England visit Pakistan but it can surely be stated that South African Team will come to Pakistan and this will urge the rest of the teams to review their tours and schedules. The arrival of South African Team will affect the revival of cricket in Pakistan more than the Bangladesh Tour.

Lastly, the arrival of Bangladesh Team will act as a small booster towards the cricket revival in Pakistan. The major concern is the arrival of other nations like Australia and England. One such tour can open the doors of Pakistan Cricket for all the world. Pakistan should keenly focus on inviting big teams. Cricket will come back in Pakistan. Fingers crossed!

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