'We either play in Pakistan or we won't play' - PCB chairman Ehsan Mani on England touring them in 2022

‘We either play in Pakistan or we won’t play’ – PCB chairman Ehsan Mani on England touring them in 2022

Mani even stated that they've had very tight security for some teams which have toured the country.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Test cricket returned to Pakistan after more than 10 years in 2019 as they hosted Sri Lankan cricket team for a two-match series. Pakistan hadn’t hosted the longer format of the sport – played more than five days – since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore.

Pointing towards international cricket matches that were held in Pakistan in the last couple of years, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani has said that the country remains safe for sports. He also stated that England’s 2022 tour of Pakistan won’t take place at a neutral venue. The Three Lions are slated to tour Pakistan for three Tests and five ODIs in 2022.

“I don’t think there will be any reason for England not to come,” Mani was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “I’m very clear that we won’t play in third countries. We either play in Pakistan or we won’t play.”

Pakistan is safe: Ehsan Mani

Pakistan, last year, also played a T20I series against ICC’s World XI while West Indies and Sri Lanka also took part in respective T20I series in the country. Mani pointed out that the players didn’t have any problem in touring Pakistan as it’s safe. He even stated that they’ve had very tight security for some teams which have toured the country.

“Pakistan is safe. For some teams that have come, we have had very tight security, like you would have for a head of state. By the time the MCC came, they wanted to get out and play golf. They went sightseeing, they went to restaurants. We’ve got two years before England come and I hope by then things have settled down and there will be more freedom of movement,” Mani added.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have flagged off their first assignment amid COVID-19 pandemic at Old Trafford against England. The Men in Green flaunted impressive performances on the first three days of the Test, increasing their possibility of clinching the first Test against the Joe Root-led side. Pakistan are slated to play three Tests and as many T20Is in England.