Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi is positive about New Zealand touring Pakistan after the Blackcaps said they are considering the request.
New Zealand and Australia will play a series against Pakistan at a neutral venue, the UAE, later this year but Sethi is hopeful that some of the matches can take place on home soil.
“We are currently in talks with Australia and New Zealand, who have a series coming up with Pakistan in the UAE or Malaysia, as the case may be, in October, November and December of this year,” said Sethi in an interview with PakPassion.net. “New Zealand, in theory, have said yes, that they will consider our request, provided we think the security is OK. If that is the case, they may play one or two games in Pakistan.”
Sethi stressed on the importance of the gradual return of international cricket in Pakistan while also praising the way Pakistan cricket, in general, has progressed of late.
“We have the step-by-step return of international cricket to Pakistan as well as the success of the Pakistan Super League (PSL),” he said. “The Pakistan cricket team is clicking together based upon the policy of appointing well-qualified foreign coaches in charge and exacting a high-standard from our cricketers and instilling motivation as well as discipline in them.”
The pay dispute between Zimbabwe cricketers and their board has put Pakistan’s tour to the country in jeopardy where they play a tri-series involving Australia, but Sethi said things are on track as far as he knows.
“I have asked my staff to check with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as there have been all sorts of media reports about some issues cropping up within ZC. They have rechecked, and they say everything is on track for this series,” he said.
While talking about the contract extension of head coach Mickey Arthur, Sethi said that it is too early to talk about that matter but he was also delighted to see Pakistan progress nicely under the South African.
“I think Mickey is having a good ride and the entire team is doing well in his tenure. He told me that ‘Mr Sethi, I am here, and I am taking this team all the way to the World Cup’. Then we will cross that bridge when we come to it and I think let’s leave it at that for now,” he said. “We are very delighted with Mickey’s performance and also the fact that the boys respond well to him.”
Sethi also reiterated that the Asia Cup will take place in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and as things stand there is no change in that decision.
“The Asia Cup will be played in the UAE, and they are delighted that this is happening. I understand that the BCCI has asked for some clarification from the Union Government on contacts with Pakistan but that is not connected with the Asia Cup,” he said.