DUBLIN - Pakistan are heading to Ireland to play two internationals, but the benighted land of Pakistan has little to cheer about these days.

Since the attack on Sri Lankan team in 2009, not a single ball has been bowled in an official international fixture in Pakistan, and the chances of it happening in the near future are slim. Bangladesh have twice pulled out of tours in the past year, and a 'home' Pakistan series against South Africa in November has already been allocated to UAE.

No one has been convicted of the massacre and last month Ehsan Mani, former ICC president, played down the chances of a resumption of games: "Those were exceedingly tragic events not only for Pakistan cricket and for millions of fans, but for me they are more tragic because there has never been a comprehensive inquiry of the mishap."

However, Ireland could play a role in repairing the sport in Pakistan. Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom wants his team to travel there when the time is right. "The Pakistan Cricket Board has proven a very strong supporter of Irish Cricket in agreeing to play here on a number of occasions over the last few years, for which we are incredibly grateful," he told the Sunday Independent. "They have asked us whether we would consider a reciprocal visit, and I have told PCB that we would be very willing to contemplate this, provided that we could have the requisite comfort levels around safety and security levels for the squad while there.

"We investigated the possibility of touring Pakistan earlier this year, but Government advice and an assessment by a professional security company clearly recommended that it was not currently safe to do so. Our willingness to tour is not empty rhetoric. I spoke directly with Intikhab Alam, who represents Pakistan at the ICC, and stressed to him that Irish cricket spent decades trying to persuade teams to play in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, so we are hugely sympathetic to the fact that Pakistani cricket fans are being deprived of international cricket at home. Our friends in Pakistan know that we shall always be amenable to their approaches in this regard once the conditions are right."

Ireland has a growing Pakistani community – close to 10,000 in the capital alone – and they are expected to turn out in force for the visit of their heroes to Clontarf on Thursday and Sunday. Many of them play cricket, and two of the best turned out for the North-West Warriors against Leinster Lightning in the inaugural interprovincial in Trinity last week.

The Warriors were captained by Iftikhar Hussein, and opening batsman Kamran Sajjid was optimistic about the future, but reluctant to discuss the attack in his native city. "We look forward, because it's better for Pakistan cricket," he said. "At the minute we are struggling to play cricket at home. What happened against Sri Lanka set us back, but fingers crossed all will be better in future."

Ehtesham Ahmed has lived in Ireland for more than a decade, and is a leading senior player with Terenure CC. "There is a huge appetite for cricket in Pakistan," he said.

"I was home last year and saw a game in Karachi between an international selection and Pakistan players – the ground was packed and there were thousands outside. Pakistanis are very disappointed that Sri Lanka won't come – when there were bombs in Colombo before the 1996 World Cup, Australia and other countries wouldn't go there but Pakistan was the first to do so."

Pakistan has also been blighted by the biggest cancer within the sport – corruption by gamblers – and saw three of its players jailed in England after being caught in a 2009 newspaper sting. After Dublin they play in the Champions Trophy – their first time back in the UK since that drama. "It's a very sensitive tour," team manager Naveed Akram Cheema told reporters before they left Lahore last week. "All the players realise the importance of it, and they should maintain strict discipline as we don't want a repeat of events. Players have been told to restrict their off-field movements and focus on the game."

Should the new generation of Pakistani players prove as talented as previous ones, then they could even win the tournament that starts in England on June 6. Sajjid points to Nasir Jamshed, a dangerous opening batsman, and the latest in a long line of fast bowling stars. "Mohammed Irfan is more than seven feet tall, so he gets a little edge from his height. He's very hard to face, but OK when you manage him. We always have had good fast bowlers since Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar . . . everyone in Pakistan wants to be a fast bowler!"