When the first ball will be bowled at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on 11 November 2019, it will be the first time in 15 years when a test cricket will be played on this ground. This will also be the first time in a decade when test cricket returns to Pakistan.
After a tragic attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore in 2009, doors for international cricket remained closed for Pakistan as the nation continued its War on Terror.
Although One Day International cricket returned to Pakistan much earlier despite reservations from its neighboring and traditional rival India; Pakistan had to take a step further to make sure a test playing nation agrees to play the longer format of the game in Pakistan.
Ironically, the last test match to be played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was between Pakistan and India from 13 to 16 April 2004. This match will also be remembered for the fact that Rahul Dravid scored his career-best of 270 at this very same venue. Thanks to this glorious knock by Rahul Dravid, India won the match by an innings and 131 runs.
Another interesting fact that needs an applaud is that Sri Lanka was the last guest team to play test cricket on Pakistani soil before their team was attacked by terrorists near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The Sri Lankan Cricket team returns after a decade to play two test matches, first at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium (popularly known as the Pindi Cricket Stadium in the twin cities) from 11 to 16 December while the second from 19 to 24 December at National Cricket Stadium in Karachi.
Having lived in the twin cities for over a decade now, like many cricket fans, this is quite an emotional moment for me to see international cricket being played in the neighborhood. Pakistan’s successful campaign against terrorism is bearing its fruit and hopefully, this tour would be the first of many more to come.
This article originally appeared on Pakistan 24/7 News