The United States of America Cricket Association has extended its support to the Pakistan Cricket Board by offering them the option to host international series in Florida. “USCA is capable of hosting Pakistan in USA and we can explore avenues in staging Pakistan home series one-day or T20 matches in USA as international cricket is at a deadlock at the moment in Pakistan,” said Nabeel Ahmed, the board’s newly-elected Chief Executive Officer. “USCA is expecting same cooperation from the PCB to consider play in Florida. We would love to see a triangular series between India, Pakistan and West Indies.”
“We have an ICC certified stadium in Florida which can host day and night matches,” he said, adding that New Zealand and the West Indies were due to play a 2-match T20 series at the venue later this year in June.
The PCB has been forced to host home series in neutral venues such as the UAE after a terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009 (which left a number of players injured and several civilians dead) raised security concerns about the country, with foreign teams deeming it too unsafe to tour.
Since then, the country has been undergoing a drought of international cricket, and the PCB has been occupied with efforts to invite foreign teams to tour Pakistan.
The board managed to convince a British Universities team to tour the country earlier this year, but their efforts to engage Bangladesh for a series this month did not produce any results. The Bangladesh Cricket Board’s hesitation caused the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) to speak out against the event, leading the Dhaka High Court to issue a suspension of the tour, which was eventually cancelled.
However, while things continue to look unpromising on the home front, the PCB has been involved in arranging series in neutral venues. The Men In Green recently played against England in the UAE earlier this year, and another upcoming series against Australia is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka. Hosting a series in the United States could be a viable option not only for Pakistan, but could also aid in the development of cricket in the US.