ISLAMABAD: A three-member security-cum-vigilance team of the England Cricket Board (ECB) will arrive in the country within the next three weeks to inspect three centres for the seven-match T20I series, which will take place from September 15, The News reported Monday.
A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source has told The News that the security team — which will also include an ECB official — will inspect the venues and review the arrangements being made for the visitors’ stay, travelling within the city (hotel to grounds and back), and arrangements within the stadiums.
The ECB team will inspect arrangements at three major cities of the country — Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi — the potential venues to host the seven-match series.
The PCB wants the team to also visit Multan Stadium where Pakistan played three-match one-day series against West Indies with immense success.
The repeated full houses at the Multan Stadium during that particular series forced the PCB’s think-tank to consider the venue for the England tour too. However, the ECB has yet to show any interest to consider the venue seriously.
“Our efforts have been to convince the ECB to send the team to Multan as well. Besides being one of the best stadiums in the country, Multan’s crowd loves the game and is highly supportive of good cricket no matter from which bat the runs are flowing and who is holding the leather for quality delivery,” a PCB source said.
“However, it is up to the ECB to decide on the venues. It is believed that two venues from three major cities are to host the seven-match series which will be finalised at the end of the team’s visit to Pakistan,” the source said.
England team is due to arrive here on September 15 and planned to leave in October for Australia for the World Cup T20 and a pre-Cup T20 series. Within 18 days of the team’s stay in Pakistan, England will be playing seven matches.
“To hold the series on two venues is the best option available. If not Multan then Lahore and Karachi are the best available centres because of their bigger capacities,” the source said.
“Such a series is always meant to attract the crowd and get the best possible financial return. Lahore and Karachi are the centres where we expect a better return. Pindi Stadium has a smaller capacity of around thirteen thousand spectators. So the Pindi Stadium’s option would fetch little. However, the ultimate decision will be taken by the ECB on the recommendations of the visiting team.”
Though the ECB has yet to communicate the security team’s arrival dates, it is believed that it would be here in the third week of July.