Bright prospects for return of int’l cricket

PLANS for the full resumption of international cricket in Pakistan moved forward Friday when the sport’s global governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), at its meeting in London stated it wanted to send a World XI team to the country later this year. The ICC board said that it had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series in a bid to helping revive international cricket in the country.
With the exception of Zimbabwe’s tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their home’ matches outside the country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore. The recent stunning victory of Pakistan in ICC Champions trophy and now the green signal for the visit of the World XI in September have heightened the prospects for future tours from some top ranking teams to the country. It is also a matter of great satisfaction that some gurus of the game such as Ian Chappell and Vivian Richards are also greatly supporting the return of cricket to Pakistani grounds. Chappell in his recent remarks said that no international cricket at all in Pakistan is preventing progress of the country’s cricket. Richards, who was also head coach for Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators, said we have to look for ways to restoring world cricket in the country in a big way. All these are positive indicators and we expect that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will double their efforts to realize the dream of bringing the cricket back to the home grounds and provide the much needed chance to the millions of cricket frenzy supporters to see some of the world’s finest players in live action. This indeed will also help groom our budding talent. Initially we believe the matches can be conducted in Lahore and some other cities which are more peaceful. Starting with small series just as we saw in organizing the final of second edition of PSL in Lahore will make foreign players become comfortable playing in our grounds. After September World XI visit, the PCB needs to negotiate bilateral series starting with some friendly countries.

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