Ireland "very willing" to tour Pakistan: Cricket Ireland

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    Ireland "very willing" to tour Pakistan: Cricket Ireland


    KARACHI: Ireland are willing to tour Pakistan, if they are provided satisfactory safety and security in the country, Cricket Ireland CEO, Warren Deutrom, said.


    "The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proven a very strong supporter of Irish Cricket in agreeing to play here on a number of occasions over the last few years, for which we are incredibly grateful," he told the Sunday Independent.

    Ireland will become the first international cricket team to tour Pakistan since 2009 when the Sri Lanka cricket team was attacked by gunmen in Lahore. No Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since then and the team has been forced to play its ‘home’ matches at neutral venues.


    Pakistan are currently in the United Kingdom where they are set to play two One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Ireland to prepare for the upcoming Champions Trophy next month in England.

    Deutrom said PCB had asked if Ireland would consider playing Pakistan and the idea was being considered.

    "They have asked us whether we would consider a reciprocal visit, and I have told PCB that we would be very willing to contemplate this, provided that we could have the requisite comfort levels around safety and security levels for the squad while there.


    "We investigated the possibility of touring Pakistan earlier this year, but Government advice and an assessment by a professional security company clearly recommended that it was not currently safe to do so."

    He added that Ireland were sympathetic towards Pakistan’s situation and were willing to do what was possible to help the return of international cricket to the country.

    "Our willingness to tour is not empty rhetoric. I spoke directly with Intikhab Alam, who represents Pakistan at the ICC, and stressed to him that Irish cricket spent decades trying to persuade teams to play in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, so we are hugely sympathetic to the fact that Pakistani cricket fans are being deprived of international cricket at home. Our friends in Pakistan know that we shall always be amenable to their approaches in this regard once the conditions are right,
    " he said.

    Pakistan play their first match against Ireland on Thursday.
    Ireland 'very willing' to tour Pakistan: Cricket Ireland - Dawn.COM News
     
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