The International Cricket Council has announced host countries of the next 18 ICC events, including 6 major events, from 2016 to 2023 with not a single event being given to Pakistan. According to cricket’s governing body, India will host three major events - World T20 in 2016, World Test Championship in 2021 and World Cup in 2023 – England has got two major events, while Australia has got the hosting rights of World T20 in 2020.
It may not be surprising for fans in Pakistan to see no major events being allocated to PCB, but it came as a shock that ICC board didn’t even consider Pakistan for hosting events like U19 tourney, Women Championship or even the qualifiers.
Pakistan last hosted an ICC event in 1996 when Lahore witnessed Sri Lanka trash Australia to win the sixth Cricket World Cup. Since then they have been waiting to see the stars of International Cricket sparkle in their grounds for a major event.
ICC Champions Trophy of 2009 was scheduled to be held in Pakistan but due to law and order situation, it was relocated out to South Africa, only to sadden fans in Pakistan.
One might argue that law and order situation in Pakistan is not encouraging and no one would want to visit Pakistan, but ICC must understand that with change in government and policies at top, things may improve in the next 10 years.
There is still some hope for Pakistan to be the co-host of an ICC event in future but it will be subject to other members agreement with the board having hosting right for that particular event.
One also wonder if there was any possibility to defer a final word on hosting rights of any particular event, so that boards can wait and see if things related to security are improving in Pakistan.
Any decision against bringing life back to stadiums in Pakistan will only bring disappointment to the fans in this country, where cricket is the only unifying factor after religion.