Pakistan to host cricket series after 20 years. GETTY IMAGES

The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on Friday that it will host a one-day triangular series with South Africa and New Zealand, marking the country's first tri-nation tournament in 20 years and the return of such tournaments after two decades.

The series was approved at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai, the Pakistan board said. International cricket will fully return to Pakistan in 2020 following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. Eight policemen defending the Sri Lankan cricket team were killed in a terrorist attack by a group armed with guns, grenades and rocket launchers. The terrorists had tried to stop the bus, but the driver managed to escape. Six players and a coach were injured. 

Two years later, Pakistan was stripped of its right to co-host the World Cup because of lingering security concerns following these attacks. The last time the country hosted a tri-series was in 2004, when Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe played. 

Mohsin Naqvi, the newly-elected chairman of the PCB, said the tri-series would serve as preparation for the eight-nation Champions Trophy, the first ICC event in the country since the 1996 World Cup.

"The triangular series between Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand will be an exciting event and it's been a long time since Pakistan has hosted such a tournament," said Naqvi in the PCB press release. 

"The PCB is also looking forward to hosting the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, which will be a great pleasure for Pakistan to host the top eight ODI teams on its soil."

ICC changes rules to add dynamism

Among the decisions taken by the International Cricket Council in Dubai last Friday, a major one was the permanent introduction of stop clocks in international one-day cricket, the ICC announced.

The decision, taken at an ICC meeting, follows a successful trial which showed that it saved around 20 minutes per match in one-day cricket. The fielding team will have 60 seconds to start a new over. Failure to do so will result in two warnings before a five-run penalty is imposed.

Greg Barclay, chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). GETTY IMAGES
Greg Barclay, chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). GETTY IMAGES

The new playing conditions will come into effect on 1 June and will be used in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA. The cricket chiefs also discussed the future of bilateral internationals amid concerns that they are under threat from the rise of global franchise leagues.

ICC chairman Greg Barclay said there were "no easy answers" after talks on the introduction of fixture windows to avoid clashes ended without any firm recommendations. "We have spent several hours constructively considering the structure of the global cricket calendar," he said.

"While there are no easy answers, there is a commitment to explore how to provide context and further options will be considered at future meetings," Barclay concluded.