The ongoing coronavirus crisis has already impacted worldwide cricketing activities, including the Pakistan Super League 2020 (PSL 2020) played in February and March this year. While the PSL 2020 was the first edition of the tournament to be entirely held in Pakistan, the outbreak of the contiguous disease forced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to indefinitely postpone the event just prior to the playoffs. Due to the success of the PSL 2020 as evidenced from capacity crowds during its first half, PCB Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan believes that the visiting foreign players now hold the key to bring back international cricket in Pakistan on a regular basis.
In a recent interview with Rediff, PCB’s Wasim Khan stated that the board has already managed to bring back international cricket in the country by hosting Sri Lanka in a full-fledged series in late 2019. He also spoke highly about the success of the most recent PSL 2020 season. Khan added that the board is currently working out on several plans regarding future cricket matches and said that touring of teams like Australia, South Africa and England in the near future will generate a “decent value” for their broadcasters.
Wasim Khan boasted of the progress PCB has made for Pakistan cricket in the past few years and expressed his full confidence on touring teams visiting the country on a regular basis from 2022 onwards. He felt that the 40-odd foreign players who participated in PSL 2020 will go back and encourage others to tour Pakistan as well. Wasim Khan further claimed Pakistan right now is as safe as any other cricket playing nation in the world.
Stylish batsman Babar Azam will now take Pakistan cricket forward as their captain in limited-overs cricket. He is set to lead his country against Ireland in two T20I matches in July before making his ODI captaincy during their tour of South Africa in September. The announcement was made when the PCB announced their list of contracted players for the 2020-21 season on May 13.
According to the statement, Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq focused on past performances while awarding contracts and emphasis was also placed on the type of cricket the country will be playing in the next 12 months amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Pakistan are scheduled to play nine Tests, six ODIs and 20 T20Is including the Asia Cup and ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 over the next 12 months which will see Azhar Ali leading their Test set-up while Babar Azam will be leading their ODI and T20I outfits.