LAHORE: West Indies team will visit Pakistan in November this year to play three T20 matches in Lahore after the tour of World XI and Sri Lanka and the visits of these three foreign teams will mark the return of international cricket to Pakistan.
This was stated by Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sathi at a news conference here on Monday at Gaddafi Stadium. Also present were Director Media, Amjad Bhatti and Haroon Rasheed, Director Cricket Operations PCB.
“It is a major breakthrough that three foreign teams will be visiting Pakistan in the next three months and with these tours we will see a lot of international cricket being played in our country after a long gap,” he added.
Najam Sathi also read out a statement of the Cricket West Indies regarding the visit of their team to Pakistan.
“Cricket West Indies and the PCB are advancing discussion that will see the West Indies playing three T20 matches in Lahore in late November.
“The tour is subject to the safe conclusion of the ICC World XI team three match series in September in Lahore and affirmation of manageable security by the ICC sponsored international security company overseeing the security arrangements of the World XI.
“The announcement follows discussions between Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron and Chairman PCB Najam Sathi,” said the statement adding “Both sides expressed a desire to facilitate the return of international cricket to Pakistan.”
The PCB chairman said the tours of World XI, Sri Lankan and West Indian side are steps forward to bring back international cricket to Pakistan which will start a new era of cricket in Pakistan which was deprived of any such activity during almost one decade.
“All these tours are subject to condition that things remain peaceful during these tours,” if the World IX tour takes place successfully, then the Lankan side will visit followed by West Indies,” he said adding “It was very difficult to convince the Lankan side to visit Pakistan as it was the victim of a terrorist attack way back in March 2009.”
Najam Sathi expressed the hope that the situation and security will remain conducive during the coming three months to help taking place the tours of foreign teams.
The international cricket will return with the tour of World XI in mid-September to play three T20 in four days. “I have the names of the World XI but I cannot reveal them right now but after 72 hours, the PCB will announce the full side which include the top notch of world cricket,” said Najam Sathi.
He said that Lankan side will visit Pakistan in the end of October after finishing its series with Pakistan at United Arab Emirates where it will play two test, five one days international and T20 matches.
“Out of the three T20 games, Lankan side will play one or two matches at Lahore,” he said.
He said the ICC security team will be visiting Pakistan later this month to review security measures in Pakistan for the tour of World XI.
To a question, he said that the PCB tried to convince the foreign teams to play matches other than Lahore but they rejected it on the grounds that since Lahore staged the final of last edition of the PSL amidst good security they will be comfortable to play at Lahore.
“But it does not mean that we have given up the hope of not having matches at other centres, I will be visiting Karachi in coming days to have discussions with the Sindh government to organise few matches of the next edition of PSL in Karachi,” he asserted.
He said as chairman he feels contended that he is striving for the cause of cricket in Pakistan.—APP