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Porterfield Ireland

Ireland interested in touring Pakistan in near future

Ireland news

The Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, Warren Deutrom, has expressed interest in Ireland touring Pakistan after being impressed with the smooth management of the recent Sri Lanka series.

Since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, the Pakistan men's team have hosted almost all their games in the United Arab Emirates. However, the country has begun hosting limited-overs internationals more regularly of late. Most recently, Sri Lanka agreed to tour Pakistan for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals, which concluded on 9 October.

After persistent rain forced the abandonment of the first game, Pakistan won the ODI series 2-0, while Sri Lanka hit back to clinch the T20Is 3-0. Throughout the tour, the Sri Lankan contingent received top-level security and the series concluded without any hiccups.

Sri Lanka received a warm welcome from crowds in Karachi and Lahore
Sri Lanka received a warm welcome from crowds in Karachi and Lahore

Sri Lanka's interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake was also impressed with the experience and feels Pakistan's hospitality will encourage other countries to visit these shores in the future.

"You've done a great job in having us here and the security has been impeccable. I've enjoyed every moment of it, even though some of us came in doubt. But the doubt has been taken out now, so I would like to thank you all for making it happen," he had said after the conclusion of the tour.

Echoing similar sentiments, Deutrom wants Ireland to play their part in regularising international cricket in Pakistan. He and Tom Harrison, the England and Wales Cricket Board Executive, visited Pakistan during the T20I series in Lahore and were given a walk-through of the security arrangements.

"We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan," Deutrom said in PCB's podcast. "Just at a very human level until you see it with yourself, you come with a set of conceptions or preconceptions and I think this visit, which was generously made at the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board, would begin to change those perceptions.

"What we saw in Islamabad and Lahore is the extraordinary lengths to which the cricket authorities, the security authorities, the government and police [have gone]; everyone has been working incredibly closely together to building that confidence."

While no particular date has been set yet for Ireland's tour as there is no free window available for the next eight months, Deutrom believes they could be invited to play within a year or two.

We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan.

Warren Deutrom

"We have a board meeting at the end of this month and would like to convey to the board what we have seen and the remarkable steps that have been taken to instil that level of confidence in other cricket boards around the world.

"When we receive an invitation, we will go through the motions and will take it extremely seriously. There is no date set. However, it wouldn't surprise me if that date or if that invitation was received by the end of the year for a tour taking place, perhaps next year, maybe the year after, I don't know. I think that's something we should take extremely seriously."

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