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Pakistan batting veteran Javed Miandad believes it is a huge success for Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) agreed to the terms — to dispatch their team to Lahore for the solitary Twenty20 International although several players were reluctant when they dispatched a letter to the national board.
Miandad also added by saying Pakistan has a high regard for the other countries which has had a lot for the sport while expressing the international sides should fly to Pakistan as he believes things have been better.
“We are a sports-loving nation having great respect and love for humanity. I urge international teams to come here and play as Pakistan is safe,” Miandad told Associated Press of Pakistan.
Since 2009, when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus at Liberty Chowk in Lahore, it’s the first time that Islanders are on a 24-hour visit to Pakistan under the leadership of stand-in skipper Thisara Perera, who was also the part of ICC-led World XI in September, this year.
Pertinently, Sri Lanka side arrived in Lahore during the midnight of October 28 which further saw presidential-level security flanked the players at the Allama Iqbal Aiport.
However, after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) grand finale in March, Gaddafi Stadium was lit-up with the three-match successful Twenty20 series between World XI and Pakistan in the second week of September, Miandad is hopeful of top-flight cricket returning on a regular basis to fill the stadiums across Pakistan.
“The Gaddafi Stadium was jam-packed for the Pakistan Super League final and the Independence Cup matches which shows our nation had been desperate to witness international cricket on their home soil for a long time,” Miandad added.
Miandad, who represented Pakistan in 124 Tests, revealed the security has improved in the embattled nation which eventually paved the way for Zimbabwe back in 2015 for the limited-overs series.
“No country is safe from the menace of terrorism. As far as Pakistan is concerned, the security situation here has improved,” Miandad remarked.
The members of the Sri Lankan squad were greeted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi, as the entire route from the was under the surveillance of CCTV cameras and subsequently guarded by the police paramilitary forces.
The Gaddafi Stadium fixture on October 29 will also mark the end of bilateral series which kick-off on September 28 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The former Pakistan batsman termed it as a major boost for Pakistan set-up to send a signal to the world cricket once again to start playing cricket in Pakistan following the political turmoil.
Stylish batsman of his age, Miandad further believes the menace of violence has taken a toll on Pakistan cricket, to resume the international cricket.
Miandad averaged 52.57 in 189 Test innings, and he also donned Pakistan colours in 233 One-day International, as he made his debut in 195 against West Indies at Birmingham.
On the other side, the former world cricket governing body International Cricket Council (ICC) president and former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas lauded the visitors’ efforts for making the match possible.
“SLC’s role will always be remembered in Pakistan cricket history,” Abbas concluded.
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Abbas, who played 78 Test for Pakistan remarked it would eventually help the hosts in the resumption of all forms of cricket, as the country is yet to host since 2009.