New Zealand came to Pakistan for the first time since 2005, but did not play a single game due to security concerns. England also cancelled their tour to Pakistan, citing concerns for the players’ safety. Despite this, a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) declared on Friday that the country is safe to hold international games and that the PCB will no longer contemplate playing home series at neutral grounds.

“That is no longer an issue because Pakistan’s security situation is normal, and we have everything in place to welcome any international squad. There will be no more neutral locations for us,”according to a PCB official.

Major Test-playing teams have avoided travelling to Pakistan since the 2009 terror assault on the Sri Lankan team, therefore Pakistan has held a couple of its home series in the UAE. International cricket gradually resurfaced in Pakistan, and the PSL was established. Following the postponement of the two tours, the PCB approached a few boards to arrange an international series at home prior to the T20 World Cup, but has now chosen to have a domestic event.

“Initial conversations were done with certain boards, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe,” the official added. “However, it was decided to focus on the National T20 Championship because all of the top players are available for the event, and it serves as a warm-up for the World Cup.”

The cancellation of the home series against New Zealand and England was a major blow for Pakistan, according to the source, but it was encouraging to see that the cricket world sympathised with Pakistan. “Almost everyone believes Pakistan cricket has been mistreated and that the country deserves real international cricket.”

The Board is now considering sending the World Cup squad and reserves to the UAE a little sooner so that they can settle in properly when their quarantine periods are over. When asked about the West Indies and Australia tours, the official claimed the Board has contacted them.