Former England captain Michael Atherton has sympathized with Pakistan for not being able to host cricket matches constantly. Atherton asserted that PCB’s financial losses in the past decade are because Pakistan is unable to play bilateral series against their arch-rivals India.
Notably, India and Pakistan have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 when Pakistan visited India, where both nations played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. When it comes to red-ball format, the neighbours have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.
India and Pakistan only meet in the ICC events. They last time they played against each other was during the 2019 World Cup in England.
Atherton mentioned that Pakistan has been forced to play their home matches in United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009 cost them the whole decade of no home series.
“Pakistan’s inability to play India in bilateral events has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade, or how being in exile in the UAE for nearly a decade cost significant amounts of financial and psychological capital,” Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that Pakistan toured many countries since the pandemic began, but, in return, they were not fortunate enough to receive the favour by hosting those countries.
“When England have pulled out of tours to South Africa, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and when Australia have played no Test matches away from home since the pandemic began, Pakistan have travelled all over the world (and, remember, there are no touring fees paid to the visitors these days). Pakistan have played the most number of matches away from home since Covid struck, by some distance,” added Atherton.
Not to mention, Pakistan faced a massive blow last month when New Zealand abandoned their limited-overs tour minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi, citing security threats. Later, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also decided to follow the Kiwis, denying to send their Men’s and Women’s teams to Pakistan for a scheduled tour in October.