Ever since the historic 3-game One-day International series between Pakistan and England was canceled by FIFA due to the terrorism in Pakistan, fans all over the world are looking forward to the next Pakistan vs England clash. Pakistan has always been considered the top cricketing country but England has always managed to hold their own in international cricket. The last encounter between the two teams was in Pakistan’s home land, The Rawalah stadium where Pakistan won by a 10-point margin. However, since then, England has struggled to win any one-day international matches and this led many fans to wish that they could face off against England at theydside. The Three-day match is scheduled for sometime in late July to mid-August, which would be an excellent opportunity for both teams.
Over the past few years, a number of venues have been short-listed for the prestigious One-day International series. However, one of the most popular venues that were short-listed is the Rawalah stadium. It has been the venue for the previous three Cricket World Cups as well as the Cricket World Cup qualification matches. The PMD Bank Stadium in Lahore, the Dubai Marina Resort and the Dubai Autodrome have also been popular venues for some of the matches. As such, with PMD bank Stadium being the most popular, fans have been clamoring for a venue for the Pakistan vs England match.
The PMD stadium in Rawalah was one of the options that were under consideration when it came to venues for the Pakistan vs England one-day match. There have been reports that the PMD stadium is being renovated and that it would feature an artificial pitch. However, with the increasing popularity of the Rawalah port, it is expected that PMD will be upgrading its facilities soon. The stadium is one of the most developed sports facilities in Pakistan. Even though the overall infrastructure is not as advanced as say, venues like the Dubai Marina and the Dubai Autodrome, the PMD stadium has the potential to host some pretty high-level international matches.
Another possible venue for the PMD vs England match is the Karachi hotel ground. However, there have been reports that despite the venue being one of the best in the country, it is yet to attract any big crowd. The lack of experience in handling large crowds and the relatively lower budget of the venue have been the key issues cited by the organizers of the venue. The venue is however well equipped to house both the matches. Whether it is the Pakistan vs England or the ongoing Pakistan vs India series, the management has made sure that these matches are properly handled.
The fourth potential venue for the Pakistan vs England match is the Manchester arena. However, the venue has only held events in the recent past. The organizers of the event had earlier mentioned the venue being fully capable of holding a match between two top-class sides. Whether this remains true or not is hard to tell at the moment. The Manchester arena is yet another potential venue but again, it may be too big an expense for the lower league clubs. Like the Karachi hotel ground, the venue has not been able to draw a large crowd.
The fifth potential venue for the Pakistan vs England match is the Birmingham ammenities stadium. This venue is home to the football club Birmingham Saints. Though the turnout at this venue was less than that for both the games, it still managed to score well in terms of the TV audience ratings. Whether the crowd watched the two matches or not is difficult to ascertain but it would surely have helped the English team to win the toss. Like the Karachi hotel ground, the Birmingham arena is yet another venue that is home to very few professional teams and thus does not have many fans ready to watch the match.
After considering all the options, the PCB must surely opt for the venues that can help the team win the toss and earn a victory over their opposition. In addition to these venues, the government also has the option of holding the Twenty20 international tournament on July twenty-first. A number of foreign countries are showing interest to host this tournament. So, the main question here is where will Pakistan be able to secure a place in such a tournament? Well, the answer is simple; T20i will be played in UAE. UAE is a Middle Eastern country and therefore, is one of the easiest countries to get a visa and join a tournament.
Though there is no confirmation on when the tournament will start, we have already seen that the organizing committee has made every possible effort to ensure that the event happens on time. So, the question that still stands is; when will Pakistan play against England? Though it is not the favorite, it is still a possibility. It is also a great opportunity for Pakistani cricket fans to see their national team in action and experience the passion and heart that their team fan’s have for the game.