Pakistan has been in excellent form in recent years, particularly in white-ball cricket. According to the most recent Apex Cricket Council rankings, they are ranked third in T20Is, fourth in ODIs, and sixth in Test cricket. They were defeated in the final of the Asia Cup earlier this year by Sri Lanka. Pakistan finished second in the T20 World Cup 2022 after another heartbreaking loss in the final, this time to England.
However, Pakistan cricket went through a difficult period following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. The incident resulted in no international cricket matches in the Asian country for several years, as cricket teams were afraid to visit the country.
Our grounds were turned into wedding halls: Shahid Afridi
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has spoken about the difficult situation that Pakistan cricket faced a few years ago. Afridi emphasised how administrators and former cricketers struggled and faced all odds to bring Pakistan cricket back from the brink of extinction.
“Our grounds were turned into wedding halls. We wanted to play on our grounds. It was a difficult period for Pakistan cricket, we were missing our crowd. The people who have worked to make this happen, have put in a lot of effort. The board, the government. They played an important role. We used to convince cricketers outside when we used to go and play in other leagues, county cricket, that through their help we’ll be able to bring cricket back in our country. When cricket returned, a good message was sent from Pakistan, that we are sports loving nation and that we want to watch and play cricket on our ground here,” Shahid Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“That difficult period has passed. The teams have started touring Pakistan. Some pulled out (but) Australia came, England came. These were things our crowd was missing,” he added.
This year, England and New Zealand will visit Pakistan. England will play three Tests in Pakistan, while New Zealand will play two Tests and three ODIs beginning December 27.