International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar on Monday welcomed the return of international cricket to Pakistan, as the country prepares to host the World XI for the three-match T20 Independence Cup.
“This is a good day for world cricket as the PCB hosts a World XI in Lahore for three T20 International games. It has been a long and tough journey as the PCB, Pakistan players and fans have been starved of the opportunity to stage, play and watch international cricket in their own country. I am hopeful that today marks the start of the safe and steady return of international cricket to Pakistan,” the ICC website quoted Manohar as saying.
“The ability of Pakistan to play international cricket at home is crucial to the long term health of the game in Pakistan and one of the main reasons why the ICC established the Pakistan Task Force under the leadership of Giles Clarke, to explore, in partnership with the PCB, how we can get international cricket back to Pakistan safely and on a regular basis,” he said.
“I send both teams and the PCB the very best wishes from the whole cricket family for a competitive series that the passionate fans in Pakistan can enjoy. I sincerely hope that this week’s games mark the start of a steady flow of international cricket to this great cricket nation,” his statement added.
Earlier today, ICC director Giles Clarke paid tribute to the efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the passion of the cricket-loving nation in bringing international cricket back home.
Addressing a joint press conference with PCB chairman Najam Sethi in Lahore, Clarke said he was happy to see international cricketing action return to Pakistan.
“It’s been a long road and I’m very happy to see international cricket finally return here,” the ICC director said, pointing out that Lahore’s successful hosting of the PSL final earlier this year was crucial in making the World XI tour possible.