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ICC CEO Geoff Allardice believes the recent return of Test cricket to Pakistan was a great success and expects future tours of the Asian nation can thrive.
Test cricket made a triumphant return to Pakistan in 2022, with Australia and England enjoying successful recent series in the sub-continent and reigning World Test Champions New Zealand scheduled to tour later this month.
Allardice was in attendance in Karachi to watch England complete a 3-0 series whitewash of Pakistan and the ICC chief liked what he saw as local fans mixed regularly with those that had travelled from overseas shores for what was England’s first Test series in the country since 2005.
“The fans in Pakistan are passionate about the game and passionate about their team, but most importantly they are welcoming of visitors,” Allardice told Pakistan Cricket at the completion of the Test.
“I have always had great experiences when I have travelled to Pakistan and I have been to see a few series over the last few years and the welcome is always very warm.”
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice sheds light on the significance of the recent international tours to Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/m91Bz9HK68
And Allardice knows the importance of future tours being held in Pakistan and hopes to see other ICC members book red-ball series in the country over the coming years.
“Pakistan is one of the strongest cricketing countries in the ICC membership,” Allardice noted.
“To have series like this taking place and fans travelling to Pakistan and New Zealand starting in a few days time for their Test series as well is a huge step forward to getting cricket back in Pakistan on a regular basis.”
The series loss put a huge dent in Pakistan’s chances of reaching next year’s World Test Championship final, with Babar Azam’s side now needing everything to go their way if they are to sneak into June’s decider at The Oval.
Pakistan’s first Test against New Zealand will commence in Karachi on Boxing Day, with the series concluding in Multan from January 3.
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Pakistan captain Babar Azam has risen to a career high Test batter ranking, while wins for Australia, England and India in their respective recent Test matches has seen a host of their stars climb the charts on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.