Cricket in Pakistan has got a new lease of life after Zimbabwe agreed to tour the troubled nation. International cricket ties are set to resume in Pakistan after a massive span of 6 years. In these six years, the Pakistani team has seen new talented individuals rising up the ranks, but these individuals have not even played a single game at home! There is absolutely no substitute for a home!
Former Pakistan player and well known commentator Ramiz Raja lauded the Zimbabwe for touring Pakistan to play a bilateral series. Raja said that it was a “noble” gesture from Zimbabwe to play in Pakistan. The evergreen commentator was excited about international cricket finally resuming in Pakistan.
Raja said about the series, “Absolutely great news. I was heartbroken when I heard they aren’t coming but thankfully everything is sorted out now. “Because you know it is for the fans of cricket in Pakistan. It is for a greater cause. It’s a noble effort by Zimbabwe and we need to applaud their effort. “This would have taken a lot of courage because the perception has been negative about touring Pakistan. This is a great starting point for better things to come.”
Raja though was critical of the ICC’s decision of not sending its umpires to Pakistan. Raja said, “I have got mixed feeling,” said Ramiz. “They are the authority that runs cricket so they need to be on the same page as one of its member countries. “So in that regard, I am a little bit disappointed that they didn’t take the first step in making it smoother for Pakistan and to re-launch cricket in Pakistan.
“But it is also understandable because as I said earlier the perception has been negative but they may take it as something substantial and later introduce match officials to Pakistan territory. “So from ICC’s point of view, let us wait and watch how this tour progresses and then we can take a call on that.”
The commentator also spoke about Zimbabwe touring Pakistan despite not getting the consent of its government. “Pakistan government and the PCB will go all the way to make it a convenient tour and a happy pleasant journey for the Zimbabwe team. The visitors will have to beat the negative perception and once they are here they have to feel like they are like somewhere else in the world.
“I have lived in Lahore and you need to be careful but it wouldn’t haunt you completely day in and day out. It is like being in New York, you know where you have to be at what time. “They will love the hospitality of the Lahoris, of eating out and I hope they experience that too because you don’t want a tour that is hijacked by a lot of security.
“The tour means enjoying the culture, enjoying the city, enjoying the flavor of the place and I hope the cricket board balances out the act where the balance is between the tour and the Zimbabweans being treated with some nice Lahori food stuff and a night out. “Once they are there they will be looked after very well and I know there will be security hassle for everybody, not only the Zimbabwe team, but also for the fans and the idea is to make it as comfortable as possible without security overwhelming the event.
“So I am hoping the tour will take place and when they get their they will concentrate on the game and not worry about the security,” concluded Raja.
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