It looks like the UAE is aiming to host the Cricket World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy and hallmark ICC events this decade, teaming up with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The UAE teaming up with Pakistan Cricket Board to host ICC events this decade
In an interview with the cricket board’s official podcast, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani revealed they’re in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board to co-host ICC events over the 2023-2031 cycle, bidding for five to six tournaments and eyeing at least two of those. Member nations were invited to show expressions of interest until 15th March, which has been post postponed indefinitely in the wake of the Coronavirus.
“We had expressed an interest to host five to six events and, frankly, it is likely we won’t be getting more than one or two. But we also thought out of the box to bid jointly with another country. I have already begun speaking with the Emirates Cricket Board for a team-up to increase the chances of hosting some of it together but, again, it needs cooperation. There are a few events with 16 games and then there are events with 30-40 games, so depending on the scale, the workload can be divided between us.”PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani
Photograph credit: Asian Cricket Council
11 years of Pakistan home series in the UAE
Anyone who follows cricket might recall the tragic shootings during Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan in 2009, banning them from hosting international matches. The cricket board moved its home base to the UAE in the same year, making the country a regular fixture in international cricket and top-tier tournaments. The last few years saw landmark cricketing events including Asia Cup, the Pakistan Super League (PSL), one edition of IPL and the emerging T10 league.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has been pushing hard to bring international matches back home, hosting Zimbabwe for an ODI series in 2015, followed by tours by West Indies and Sri Lanka. The PSL, too, was played entirely at home this year.
“We have demonstrated through the PSL that Pakistan has what it takes to hold international games at a large scale, Those 30 games were free of any untoward incidents; they were well run despite some logistical challenges, which we were able to overcome to send the message loud and clear that we have the ability to stage big matches. It’s premature to tell which events we would be bidding for but we have indicated to the ICC about our interest across the board: from youth cricket to the senior World Cups. We have full confidence in our logistic capability and infrastructure to hold them.”PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani
(Featured photograph credit: Asian Cricket Council)