Ireland bosses visit Pakistan to assess possible future tour to country

Tim Murtagh makes a successful appeal for an lbw decision during Ireland's Test debut against Pakistan last year
Ireland men's made their Test match debut against Pakistan at Malahide in May 2018

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has said that he expects Ireland to be invited to tour Pakistan in either 2020 or 2021.

Pakistan have played almost all their home games in the United Arab Emirates since a 2009 attack on a Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

But Deutrom has travelled to Pakistan to assess conditions in the country.

"We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan," said the Irish cricket boss.

"Just at a very human level until you see it with yourself, you come with a set of conceptions or preconceptions and I think this visit, which was generously made at the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board, would begin to change those perceptions.

"What we saw in Islamabad and Lahore is the extraordinary lengths to which the cricket authorities, the security authorities, the government and police [have gone]; everyone has been working incredibly closely together to building that confidence.

"It begins to build a sense of: OK, well, what are the reasons now to say why wouldn't we come if we have had all these sensitive comforts provided to us?"

Deutrom added that he and Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCollum, who also travelled to Pakistan, now plan to hold discussions with other board members in the coming weeks.

"When we receive an invitation, we will go through the motions and will take it extremely seriously," he said.

"There is no date set. However, it wouldn't surprise me if that date or if that invitation was received by the end of the year for a tour taking place, perhaps next year, maybe the year after.

"I think that's something we should take extremely seriously."

Ireland made their historic men's Test debut against Pakistan at Malahide in May 2018, while other encounters included a shock World Cup win for the Irish in Jamaica in 2007.

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