All matches of PSL-5 to be played in Pakistan: Mani

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has said that all the matches of the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL-5) will be played in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Ehsan Mani said four venues have been identified in Pakistan to host the PSL-5 matches. He said the PCB is working hard to realise the dream of holding all the PSL matches in Pakistan. He said the stadiums in Pakistan are not in good condition because of lack of maintenance due to no international cricket for the last 10 years. However, he said the stadiums in Lahore and Karachi were improved to a great extent for the PSL-4 matches. He said the PCB is now giving attention to improving the condition of stadiums in Rawalpindi and Multan.

Mr Mani was also confident of arrival of international cricket in Pakistan within this year. He said Pakistan may host Sri Lanka and Bangladesh later this year. He said the heads of Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will also visit Pakistan this year. He was also optimistic that Pakistan will host the Asia Cup as per schedule.

The PCB chief said the ICC Test Championship is spanned over two years and will end in year 2021. He said Pakistan will host Sri Lanka for two Tests in September and then Pakistan will go to Australia in October/November. He said the PCB is trying to persuade the foreign teams to visit Pakistan and in this regard he is utilising his experience of heading the International Cricket Council and his personal relations with different cricket boards.

Mr Mani said Bangladesh is expected to visit Pakistan to play two Test matches of the ICC Test championship in January/February next year which will be followed by three T20 matches of a bilateral series between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

To a question about cricket ties with India, the PCB chief said India should visit Pakistan first to fulfil its bilateral commitment. He said Pakistan will never beg India or any other country to play cricket with Pakistan. He said the Pakistan women team will visit India in November to play matches of the ICC women Championship.