Pakistan’s victory in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has given new life to the debate surrounding bringing international cricket back to the country. While local sportstars and other notable personalities have already joined the chorus of voices demanding this long awaited return, foreign names are also adding credence to the argument of bringing cricket to Pakistan. Cricketing legends such as Ian Chappell and Sir Vivian Richards have stated that it is time for cricket to return to Pakistan. And while Pakistan’s performance in the tournament was quite the spectacle, there is still a long way to go before international cricket can return to the country.

Remember, this is the team that decided to not play a series against Zimbabwe only months ago, to avoid an uncomfortable drop in rankings, which would have meant not qualifying for the Champions Trophy. The win in the final was a passionate fight across the finish line, but this does not mean that the Pakistan team is back to its old winning ways for good.

But all of that should not matter in the slightest; Pakistan has always been a good cricketing team and an interesting contest for competitors, it is the fear of a security lapse that keeps opponents from playing here.

Barring the first couple of months of 2017, the overall security of the country has greatly improved. The final of the PSL and the series against Zimbabwe in 2015 are examples of the security forces of the country successfully protecting fans and players alike. But for international cricket to return to Pakistan as of old, there has to be a regular display of cricket in the country to assuage the fears of any visiting players. Cities cannot come to a complete lockdown each time a cricket match is scheduled. That can only start with hosting the PSL in Pakistan in its entirety. Beyond this, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) plans to have a match with the World XI might also help in easing the minds of the international cricketing fraternity.

We are still some way away from going back to the old days of experiencing regular international cricket, but this match proves that the fans and players are more than committed to welcoming international games in the country. The PCB has so far done well to make arrangements for the matches played in the country so far, it needs to follow through on its plan to ensure that cricket finally comes home.