Cricket could be on the verge of a full-time return to Pakistan, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed Karachi and Rawalpindi as the possible venues for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka in December.
Lanka had toured Pakistan last month for a three-match ODI and T20I series, where Pakistan had won the ODIs, while Lanka won the T20Is.
Here is more.
Dates and players
No clarity on dates or players to participate
While the dates for the Tests are yet to be announced, it is being presumed that the Tests would last a fortnight, which is almost for the same amount of time as the limited-overs lasted.
However, it is not yet clear as to which Lankan players would be willing to travel to Pakistan, since as many as 10 players had pulled out last time.
Decision to host Test in Rawalpindi raises eyebrows
While it is a welcome move by the PCB, the decision to host a Test in Rawalpindi has raised some eyebrows, as the venue last hosted a Test back in 2004.
Ideally, Lahore is given the foremost preference for any format of the game.
However, the lack of daylight in the winter season, followed by seasonal smog, could be the reason for its ax.
Cricket in Pakistan
Competitive cricket in Pakistan has suffered following 2009 terror attack
International cricket in Pakistan has been hit badly since 2009, following the horrific terror attack on the touring Lankan team.
The attack saw seven Lankan players getting injured, along with assistant coach Paul Farbrace and umpire Ahsan Raza.
The tour was immediately abandoned, while the tournaments involving international cricketers came to a standstill in Pakistan.
Tests in Pakistan: 10 years in re-making
Recalling the last Test to be played in Pakistan, it was back in March 2009 in Lahore, when the second Test against Lanka ended in a draw following the terror attack on the Lankan bus.
The last Test to be completed in Pakistan was the opening Test of the series against Lanka in Karachi, which too had ended in a draw.
Unexpected good result might tempt Lanka to tour Pakistan
While we await any further developments on the same from Lanka, it is to be noted that they came up with an impressive performance in the T20Is, despite sending a so-called second-string side.
Thus, the author believes that this could tempt other Lankan players change their minds and travel to Pakistan for the Tests, which is a part of the ICC World Test Championship.