Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Ehsan Mani confirmed that they won’t look to achieve “short-term goals”. This would have been achieved by offering financial incentives to the teams touring Pakistan in spite of the security issues. However, the board’s objective is to build trust and confidence with all the touring teams over the security arrangements that they provide to the players.
“Transparency and merit are very important aspects for me,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ehsan Mani as saying ahead of Sri Lanka’s visit for T20I and ODI series. The series will be played in Karachi and Lahore, respectively, starting from September 27. “Whoever wants to come to Pakistan, we will welcome them wholeheartedly. But whoever is coming for money, his commitment isn’t for Pakistan.”
“So what is more important for us is to mollify everyone [and tell them] that Pakistan is a safe country. With money, we can attain short-term goals, but we want to build a solid foundation to make a longer-term impact for the sake of the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” he further added.
The ODI series against Sri Lanka will be Pakistan’s first home series since Zimbabwe’s 50-over games at the Gaddafi stadium in 2015. Since then no high-profile games have been played in Pakistan since 2009 – when the terrorist attack took place in Lahore on the Sri Lanka team bus.
However, Mani said that PSL has helped a lot and there were 32 to 35 overseas players who came to play on their own interest. He further added that the players wanted to roam around freely but due to security reasons they wouldn’t. However, it was for the safety of the players.
“Their only complaint was about having too much security cover; they wanted to go out and socialise with free movement, but it was a constraint put up by our security officials. They wanted to assure [the players of] security and make them comfortable to start with. That’s why they were escorted everywhere with security,” he concluded.