Former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas expects international cricket to return to Pakistan in the near future as hosting home matches in the UAE is turning out very expensive and does not attract sufficient spectators to the stadium.
“I do not want to predict a time frame of international teams touring Pakistan, but I do hope over the next 2-3 years we could see them playing back in Pakistan,” the former International Cricket Council president said.
“When I used to sit on international forums as ICC president I used to talk a lot about it (cricket in Pakistan), but people didn’t want to come due to their security concerns.
“At the moment our main grounds are in UAE, but you must have noticed in Test cricket only handful of people watched matches and you can realize how important it is to revive cricket back home.
“We play on the other side of the world and host international teams for months, financially it also hurts us. Cricket grounds (in UAE) demand so much money that I can’t tell. I just pray that there’s peace in Pakistan and foreign teams themselves say that they wanted to play in Pakistan.”
No major Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. However, Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in May last year for a short limited-overs series.
“Pakistan has a very strong team and it is very important member of ICC. Without Pakistan cricket, the world of cricket is not complete.The government and people also want cricket to come back to Pakistan,” Abbas said.