The first and foremost priority of Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf has been to bring international cricket back home, but after repeated refusals by Bangladesh to tour Pakistan, the board seemed to have back-burnered the demand.

[caption id="attachment_1021" align="alignright" width="300"]Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said the board is considering Pakistan’s idea of a reciprocal tour (Photo: AFP) Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom says that the board is considering Pakistan’s idea of a reciprocal tour (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

There are some good news, Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom says that Ireland team is willing to tour Pakistan as a reciprocal visit, given the country’s satisfactory security situation.

He told Sunday Independent that Irish Cricket Board was indebted to Pakistan for their support in the form of agreeing to play in Ireland for a number of times in past.

Pakistan has not witnessed an international match since March 2009 when gunmen attacked Sri Lankan team in Lahore. The country was also deprived of hosting the 2011 World Cup. Therefore, the day Ashraf took charge, he started working for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.

Pakistan, who are in the UK these days to acclimatize to English conditions before the next month’s Champions Trophy, are set to play two ODIs against Ireland on May 23 and 26.

Deutrom said PCB had asked for a reciprocal tour and the Irish board is considering the idea, “provided that we could have the requisite comfort levels around safety and security levels for the squad while there”.

He said the board had earlier considered the idea of visiting Pakistan but the government and a professional security firm advised against it.

The Cricket Ireland CEO said that the board’s willingness to visit Pakistan was not mere rhetoric and he had had discussion with Pakistan representative in the ICC, Intikhab Alam in this regard.

Earlier in 2012, Bangladesh expressed their willingness to tour Pakistan but backed off after a stay order by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. In December, they again showed wilingness to visit Pakistan but Pakistan’s euphoria soon gave way to despair when Bangladesh Cricket Board chief Nazmul Hassan linked the team’s visit to Pakistan’s security, which was a euphemism for saying a straight 'No'.

Anyway, let’s hope against hope for Ireland tour to Pakistan.
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