PCB offers to host 2019 World Cup qualifiers

Karachi: PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Thursday it has has submitted a request with the ICC to host the World Cup qualifiers in 2018 for the 2019 edition.

The qualifiers will determine the final places for the associate member teams for the main World Cup, to be held in England in 2019.

Ashraf said it was an attempt to win back the confidence of the global cricket community and revive international cricket in Pakistan.

No Test playing nation has toured Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

The PCB has made several attempts to convince some boards to send their junior and second string sides to Pakistan, but without success.

Pakistan was hopeful that Bangladesh would send its national team for a short series of two limited-over games last year but the BCB also backed out at the last moment citing security concerns.

They backed out even after a security delegation from Bangladesh had visited Pakistan.

Ashraf said the PCB had previously shown interest in hosting the 2014 World Twenty20, which was awarded to Bangladesh.

"There is a ICC event in 2018 and Pakistan have requested it should be given an opportunity to host the event," Ashraf said at the Lahore airport.

"We have also asked them to evaluate the security situation when the time comes, but keep the slot for us. They have agreed and have given it to the committee and when the time comes they will assess the security situation and will decide accordingly."

He confirmed he had been speaking to heads of three to four boards about playing in Pakistan.

"But the sad part is they remain reluctant to send any teams to Pakistan and Bangladesh didn`t help our cause by running away last year. Their thinking is that when Bangladesh is not willing to play in Pakistan how can we send our team," he added.