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Pakistan vs World XI

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
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It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday stated that it would be ‘sensible’ to move matches against Pakistan to UAE rather than completely cancelling the tour. England is scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what will be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Michael Vaughan’s statement came after the Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert on Friday.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Vaughan: It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE Rather Than Cancelling The Tour

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

Michael Vaughan has suggested a way to salvage England’s upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan, which looks in doubt after the New Zealand men’s team abandoned a white-ball tour of the Asian country citing security concerns moments before toss in the 1st ODI between the two teams. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is under pressure not to send its men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan and has asked its security experts for a report.

Michael Vaughan reckoned the series should be moved to the UAE “if it’s deemed unsafe to travel”. Although some international cricket and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches have happened in the country, major Test nations are yet to travel to Pakistan for full-fledged tours. West Indies are scheduled to travel to Pakistan later this year. Australia is also due to tour Pakistan early next year.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It would seem sensible to me to try and move England’s Pakistan games to the UAE rather than cancel the tour if it’s deemed unsafe to travel .. !! Hopefully the games for the Men’s & Women teams can take place rather than a full cancellation,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. But it is to be seen whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will agree to take their games back to UAE after having hosted some international teams at home.

Six years after the 2009 incident, Zimbabwe became the first Full Member to play in the country in 2015 in a limited-overs series. While not an international match, the 2017 Pakistan Super League final was undoubtedly the biggest game played in Pakistan since 2009. In the same year, captained by Faf du Plessis, a World XI side played the home side in a three-match T20I series, which they lost 2-1.

New Zealand Team Arrived In Dubai After Tour Cancellation

Earlier in the day, the New Zealand men’s cricket team arrived in UAE’s city Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of as many as 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

Of this group, 24 will return to their country New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available. The MIQ arrangements initially booked for all of these squad members at the end of the Pakistan tour will now be cancelled. The balance of the touring party will remain in the UAE and join up with the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad, ahead of that marquee tournament which will commence on October 17.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Younis Khan Praises PCB for World XI’s Successful Tour to Pakistan

Former Pakistan skipper and batting mainstay Younis Khan has praised the efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in general, and the newly-appointed chairman Najam Sethi in particular, for smoothly conducting the ICC-led World XI’s five-day tour to Pakistan.

The prolific Test batsman Younis has backed Sethi for his rigorous work to convince major players for playing at country’s iconic stadium in Lahore.

“The way the PCB chairman himself received each and every visiting player and official, was more than enough to show our commitment and how seriously we regarded the touring players,” Younis was quoted as saying by The Nation.

The composed cricketer Younis stressed the 14-member team of World XI-led by Faf du Plessis is more of a stepping stone for the resumption of elite-level cricket in the county.

“Everyone played his role very well. This World XI tour is benchmark and I am damn sure now the ICC would seriously take Pakistan case and in near future, more international teams will tour Pakistan,” Younis reiterated.

Younis revealed the visitors have shown great courage to fly Pakistan, as the love for gentleman’s game reached a new high, adding the tour was not only about the staggering tournament fee for the players.

However, the talented batsman Younis admitted the fact that players’ priority would be their safety, before settling for luring contracts.

“As professional cricketers, I know, we must ensure safety first,” Younis maintained.

Younis reiterated the citizens of Pakistan are indebted to the World XI squad for showing faith in embattled country’s administration and security apparatus.

Also, Younis revealed the visiting players included top-notch cricketers, and well-known stars, who are concurrently participating in the domestic cricket with pride.

“No one can say that the touring World XI players were retired or unknown, instead they were mega stars and world-famed players,” Younis remarked.

Younis, who led Pakistan in 2009 World Cup against Sri Lanka, always stated he had put country ahead of personal milestones while considering his team’s goal.

Younis Khan Praises PCB for World XI’s Successful Tour to Pakistan 1
Younis Khan, played 118 Tests for Pakistan and scored at an average of 52.05. He has also played 265 ODIs and 25 T20Is between 2000 and 2017. Photo Credit: AFP.

(Read Also: Paul Collingwood Feels Other Teams Should also Visit Pakistan)

Interestingly, Younis also lauded PCB for conducting the farewell of former two skippers including Misbah-Ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi during the final match of the three-match Twenty20 series at Gaddafi ground.

“Both the cricketers have done wonders for Pakistan and cricket. I am very happy for both of them and it was a good example set by the PCB,” Younis said.

While being paraded on the multi-colored auto-rickshaws Misbah and Afridi were given the lap of honor during the innings break on September 15, before the hosts led by Sarfraz Ahmed clinched the World Series 2-1 when they wrapped the decided by 33 runs.

In the second most populous city Lahore, all three T20 international matches were played at Gaddafi Stadium which further saw former Pakistani players alongside fans celebrated the return of major cricketing activity in the country after two years when Zimbabwe tour for the limited-overs contest.

“I can assure all that Pakistanis are highly peace-loving nation and we know how to pay back when it comes to our turn,” Younis concluded.

The 39-year-old batsman Younis announced his retirement from international cricket before completing the three-match Test series on the Caribbean soil and has eventually vowed to support Pakistan cricket in whatever way possible.

Photo Credit: AFP

Faf Du Plessis Tweets ‘Thank You Pakistan’ for Hospitality

After the culmination of the successful World XI’s tour to Pakistan, the South Africa skipper, who reached home on Sunday (September 17) took to Twitter while praising Pakistan for its hospitality during the recently Independence Cup.

Following the addition of the two different photographs that further read: ‘Thank You World’ for being in Pakistan.

The local Tv channels in Pakistan revealed the World XI side had entertained the cricket-starved fans by making a significant mark while stepping into Pakistan.

Following the drought in gentleman’s game, after 2009 terrorist attack, the international fixture took place in 2015 when Zimbabwe accepted the much-awaited offer from PCB – to play in a limited-overs bilateral series.

The batting mainstay for the Proteas was delighted to be the part of the campaign which he alongside his termed as a substantial cause for the gentleman’s game earlier while thanking Pakistan and its citizens.

“Arrived safely back home. Thank you Pakistan and Lahore for your hospitality,” du Plessis tweeted.

Du Plessis is further hopeful that the success of the recently concluded series in Pakistan would eventually pave a way for the top-flight cricket in Pakistan in anytime soon or the foreseeable future before returning to home on September 16.

Winning the hearts of many in Pakistan, the seven-nation players have enjoyed the five-day stay in the embattled country.

Faf Du Plessis Tweets 'Thank You Pakistan' for Hospitality 2
Faf du Plessis aimed to return to Pakistan after witnessing the country like Pakistan has a lot on offer. Photo Credit: AFP.

(Read Also: We Don’t Want To Be Seen To Be Forcing Anyone To Visit Pakistan, Says Dave Cameron)

The 33-year-old Pretoria-born middle-order batsman du Plessis has been the part of the 14-member squad while being appointed as the skipper of ICC-led World XI.

“I appreciate there was a lot of planning, a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy spent in the planning of this week,” du Plessis maintained in the post-series press conference.

However, the three-match Twenty20 series title was clinched by hosts after claiming the series decider (2-1) on Friday (September 15), by 33 runs under the leadership of wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed.

In general, it’s pertinent to mention, du Plessis didn’t have enough success with the bat throughout the 20-over series in the sub-continent, as he went on to score 29, in the first T20Is, 20 in the second and 13 in the final T2OIs respectively.

Earlier, the major World Series has been accorded an international status by the world body of cricket International Cricket Council (ICC), as a goodwill gesture indeed for a reason to help Pakistan to step-up for the resumption of cricket in Pakistan.

In front of the 25,000 capacity crowd, du Plessis admitted the fact that everything was done up to the mark while praising the efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), for spending staggering amount – to attract the major nations across the globe which further include the logistics.

All three matches were played at the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Du Plessis has featured in 39 T20Is in which he has scored 1,191 runs, at an average of 36.09.

He has smashed a solitary hundred in the competition which further include seven fifties.

Here’s Faf’s tweet:

Shahid Afridi, T10 league
Photo Credit: Google/Web.

Shahid Afridi Formally Accepts Grand Farewell Reception Offer from PCB

Former Pakistan skipper and celebrated all-rounder Shahid Afridi has finally accepted the offer of his memorable farewell from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for what his die-hard fans were waiting for so long, following his retirement announcement in February this year.

As his retirement did not sit well with his followers, the 37-year-old explosive batsman who has served Pakistan for over two decades while donning the national jersey had already rejected multiple offers recently.

The reports suggested Afridi is bound to get a lap of honour during the Twenty20 series decider taking place between the hosts Pakistan and World XI-led by South African Faf du Plessis. The ceremony would also felicitate the former Pakistan skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq after 2009 Twenty20 World Cup captain Younis Khan declined the offer from PCB.

Having the massive influence on the youngsters, Afridi had played a pivotal role for Pakistan both with the bat and a ball during his career which had witnessed the purple and lean patch, respectively. The flamboyant and explosive batter further couldn’t hide his excitement to be the part of the final T20Is at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 15 (Friday).

The right-handed batsman took to microblogging website while revealing he is thrilled to witness the game.

Shahid Afridi Formally Accepts Grand Farewell Reception Offer from PCB 3
“SO WHO’S COMING TONIGHT? IT’S GOING2BE [GOING TO BE] A THRILLING & [AND] AN EXCITING GAME. LET’S CELEBRATE KEEPING VICTORY & [AND] DEFEAT ASIDE. C U ALL [SEE YOU ALL],” AFRIDI TWEETED WITH THE HASHTAG OF ‘CRICEKET KI HALA LALA. Photo Credit: AFP.
(Read Also: James Sutherland Admits Australia Won’t Tour Pakistan Soon)

It’s pertinent to mention, the Board under the chairmanship of Shaharyar Khan has gone through a strained relationship with Afridi owing to the farewell recently.

However, the newly-appointed chairman Najam Sethi had played a significant role in bringing the senior players to the table to discuss the various topics in a bid to overhaul cricket in Pakistan. Afridi was approached by Sethi and this time he has agreed to go on board in a bid to meet the World XI players, who will leave the country after the completion of the third T20Is.

On September 14 (Thursday), adamant in his approach Afridi deliberately skipped the award ceremony which revealed how displeased he was with the national board for cricket which is housed at iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Like his U-turns for his retirement, Afridi at the first instance did not want to lose such a big platform, as he made his mind to accept the offer after tremendous efforts were put in by the PCB including its administrators in the contemporary set-up.

With his leg-break bowling, Afridi bagged 540 wickets across all formats, after he played 398 ODIs, 98 T20Is and 27 Tests. Afridi scored 8,064 runs in the 50-over format, followed by 1716 in Tests and 1404 in T20Is, respectively after making his international appearance in 1996 against Kenya at Nairobi.

Cricket Australia Bangaldesh
CA has scraped the Bangladesh tour to Australia, citing monetary issues.

James Sutherland Admits Australia Won’t Tour Pakistan Soon

Pakistan is gearing up for the resumption of international cricket in the embattled country by concurrently hosting the World XI for the three-match Twenty20 series in Lahore.

The Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland revealed there are no solid plans in ‘short term’ process taking place to tour Pakistan shortly.

“I don’t see in the short term there are any plans for us to play in Pakistan,” Sutherland was quoted as saying by AFP while briefing media back home.

Interestingly, in the 14-member squad of the World XI-led by South African skipper Faf du Plessis, the three players from Australia are participating in major tour including wicket-keeper batsman, all-rounder Ben Cutting and former Australian skipper George Bailey.

After Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had spent staggering multi-crore to convince the players from seven nation including logistics, Sutherland believes considering to visit Pakistan will take some time although first two matches of the T20Is were successfully conducted in Lahore amid presidential-level security.

Pertinently, the World Series is tied at one each, as the decider of the competition is scheduled at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 15 (Friday).

While talking to the media in Sydney, Sutherland, however, hailed the efforts of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and PCB, as the key series is seen as the watershed moment for the country while aiming to host the regular fixtures in the foreseeable future.

“There’s a whole lot of steps in that process,” Sutherland remarked.

As Australian side is highly unlikely to travel Pakistan, the Asian team is scheduled to face Sri Lanka and West Indies in their next scheduled fixtures in the United Arab Emirates, as some of the matches could be expected in Pakistan which is subjected to the smooth conclusion of World XI tour.

James Sutherland Admits Australia Won’t Tour Pakistan Soon 4
Before the second Twenty20 World XI and Pakistan players pose for a photograph alongside PCB chairman Najam Sethi and Pakistan Task Team Head Giles Clarke. Photo Credit: AFP

(Read Also: Pakistan vs World XI: The Tour is For a Good Cause, but We’re on a Mission to Win: Morne Morkel)

Doubtful about the 2018 calendar which is scheduled in November, Sutherland believes much needs to be done during the programme. Adamant in approach, Sutherland had played a pivotal role for Cricket Australia, as the Australian side had lasted visited Pakistan in 1998 when the visitors clinched the three-match Test series by 1-0.

Pertinently, after the gruesome attack on the Sri Lankan Team Bus in Lahore in 2009 which injured at least six Lions’ players, Pakistan went on to host the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015, following the five-year drought of international fixtures in the county.

In March 2017, Gaddafi Stadium again hosted the grand finale of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) between defending champions Peshawar Zalmi-led by Windies all-rounder Darren Sammy and Quetta Gladiators which is playing under the leadership of current Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Earlier, ICC has vowed to provide the complete support to Pakistan owing to the stepping stone of international cricket as a goodwill gesture which further saw ICC chief executive Dave Richardson reiterating it was important to witness top-flight cricket coming to Pakistan.

Babar Azam, Yasir Shah Named Pakistan’s ODI and Test Player of the Year

Babar Azam won Pakistan’s ODI Player of the Year award at the Pakistan Cricket Board awards in Lahore on Thursday (September 14).

The star studded ceremony was attended by the players of Pakistan cricket team as well as members of the World XI side which is currently in Lahore for the ongoing T20I series. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah was awarded as the Test Player of the Year award, while all-rounder Imad Wasim was adjudged Pakistan’s T20I Player of the Year.

Azam, who had scored a hat-trick of hundreds against West Indies in the UAE last year, became the joint fastest to 1000 ODI runs, equalling Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Quinton De Kock earlier this year. He has had a very productive outing with the bat in the 50-over cricket in the last one year.

Azam was also the highest run-scorer in the three-match series against Windies last year, slamming a staggering 360 and continued his good show in Australia too. He was the second highest run-scorer in Australia, scoring 282 runs in five matches including one century and one half-century.  The right-handed batsman was also instrumental in Pakistan’s historic Champions Trophy victory in June.

Yasir Shah also reaped the rewards for his sensational show in the longest format of the year. The leg-spinner had played a pivotal role in helping Pakistan draw the four-match series in England 2-2 and had claimed the top spot in the bowlers’ ranking for a while.

Imad Wasim, who is currently the top-ranked T20I bowler, scooped the top award for the shortest format of the game. The left-arm spinner made his debut in 2015 and has now become an indispensable part of Pakistan’s limited-overs team.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Champions Trophy heroes Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan were adjudged as the emerging players of the year. With 14 wickets to his name, Hasan Ali was the highest wicket-taker in the Champions Trophy, while Shadab Khan, who earned consecutive Man of the Match awards in his first T20 Internationals after finishing the games with astonishing figures of 3-7 and 4-14 against Windies earlier this year, took four wickets in the tournament.

Pakistan vs World XI 2017, 2nd T20I: Faf Du Plessis Delighted after Squaring Series

Roaring back in style after the loss in the series opener, the World XI outfit brought back life into the three-match affair in Lahore.

Barely 24 hours after their drubbing in the first T20I, where their batting was way below par to go with the bowling, the Faf du Plessis outfit struck back with a thrilling win to square the series, with one match remaining. Chasing 176 to win, it was the rock solid knock from Hashim Amla which kept the World XI in contention. Just as Amla held up an end with his elegant strokes, it was the carnage from the willow of Thisara Perera which decimated Pakistan, as the visitors got home with just one ball to spare.

Post the win; skipper Faf du Plessis lauded his team for such an improvement.

“We needed it to keep the cup alive,” said du Plessis. “I thought we bowled much better and kept them to a lower score. You always need someone to ensure that we do not collapse; quite the one we did not have yesterday.”

“That’s what Amla did, he was steady and took us through. Last night we were disappointed that we did not do well, but am glad that we came back strong. I expect the third match to be in similar conditions and hope to continue the form,” he added.

Man of the Match Thisara Perera was quite pleased with his efforts, and he let it out with his words.

“First of all, it is an honour to be selected for the World XI side; it was my dream. Hash told me to stay till the end so that we could cash in. Normally, I play similarly in situations for my country as well and this has become a habit now finishing off games. Thanks to the Pakistani fans, they really cheered well for us,” said Perera.

Pakistani cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmad (R) and International World XI captain Faf du Plessis hold the Independence Cup trophy during a press conference at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on September 11, 2017. A World XI squad comprising 13 players from seven top cricket-playing nations landed in Lahore early on September 11 amid massive security, with Pakistan hoping the tour will end years of international isolation. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan vs World XI 2017, 2nd T20I: Such Games will Help our Bowlers – Sarfraz Ahmed

The second game of the highly anticipated three-match T20I series between Pakistan and World XI turned out to be a thriller.

If Pakistan held the aces in the first game of the series, this time around the Coalition outfit led by Faf du Plessis struck back to level the series at 1-1. With just one game left, the final game has everything at stake for the teams. The game began on a similar note, as the hosts batted first and notched up a decent total on the board. Man of the Match in the first game, Babar Azam once again stood out for Pakistan, as his knock of 45 anchored the innings.

Azam this time around though, couldn’t capitalize on his start, and once he was dismissed, Pakistan couldn’t build on the start. Defending 176, the hosts were taken aback by the sheer class of Hashim Amla, and the sheer destruction of Thisara Perera towards the end. Thanks to five colossal sixes from Perera, the World XI outfit got home with just a delivery to spare. With just one game remaining now, the final promises to be another thriller.

Post the loss, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed admitted that such crisp situations would aid the young bowlers.

“We have to give credit to the World XI,” said Ahmed. “Hashim bhai played beautifully. This is a learning opportunity for all of us; it will teach the bowlers how to bowl in tough situations to class players like Hash.”

Calling his side’s fielding as sloppy, Ahmed said,

“We were a bit sloppy in the field, and that cost us. Had the execution been better, we could have won this match. You should also have a slower length ball in your kitty apart from the yorkers.”

Pakistan vs World XI: Najam Sethi Reveals the Reason Behind Low Turnout in Ongoing Series

In a country where no game is bigger than cricket, it was rightly expected by one and all that the stadiums will be jam-packed for the ongoing series between Pakistan and World XI.

The current series marks the return of international cricket in Pakistan where no International country except Zimbabwe in 2015 had toured since 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

However, there was high enthusiasm for the series against World XI which can pave the way for a return of international matches in the cricket-obsessed country, the scenes in Lahore’s Gadaffi stadium have not been encouraging.

Najam Sethi, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, knows the reasons behind the low turnout. Sethi has admitted that the board’s decision to hike the ticket prices has backfired.

“You are absolutely right about prices. We made a mistake by setting such high prices. We were misled by the trend we saw in PSL when prices were unimportant and irrelevant, and people paid high prices to come and witness the event,” the PCB chairman told journalists.

The Gadaffi Stadium was brimming with spectators during this year’s PSL final, but the expensive tickets have compelled the fans to give the much-awaited series a miss. The starting price for the ticket was Pakistan rupees 500, but it then increased to 2,500, 4,000, 6,000 and 8,000, respectively for different blocks.

“We should have kept lower prices for the three-match series. But I can assure you that we’ll learn from this and considerably and significantly reduce prices for future,” he added.

Pakistan vs World XI: Najam Sethi Reveals the Reason Behind Low Turnout in Ongoing Series 5
Fans were going through stringent security check up before entering the stadium (Credits: AFP)

Sethi also felt that the tight security was another reason for the unexpected turnout in the ongoing series.

“The security was so tight that many people from different areas couldn’t reach or went back home. We can do very little about it as, despite our requests, the Punjab government is relentless in providing security,” he concluded.

In a Couple of Years’ Time We Can Talk About Pakistan Hosting an ICC Event – Dave Richardson

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC), ambitious project of resuming international cricket in Pakistan, is going in the right direction at the moment. Since 2009, Pakistan has been forced to play its home matches at UAE, as no international team was willing to visit the country citing security reasons after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 in Lahore.

Zimbabwe visited the country in 2015 for a limited-overs series, but that was the only exception, as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) suffered substantial revenue loss while the cricket-obsessed fans starved of international cricket.

The scene, however, is changing this year. In early 2017, the PCB successfully staged the PSL final in front of a sell-out crowd at the Gadaffi Stadium, and now the country has taken another giant leap towards resuming international cricket by hosting the ongoing series against World XI.

The ICC has shown it is firmly behind Pakistan in their quest of ending the long drought of international cricket in the country. ICC CEO Dave Richardson, who attended the second T20I between Pakistan and World XI on Wednesday (September 13), feels the ongoing series can pave the way for more games in the country in the coming days.

Expressing his delight over seeing the game making a comeback in the country, Richardson thanked the fans, media and Giles Clarke, chairman of ICC’s Task Force on Pakistan, for their contribution.

Very happy to be back once again in Pakistan. To begin with, I would like to thank the Pakistan public for their continued support of cricket in the last few years, in what must have been a difficult time when you didn’t have international cricket. Ensuring our members have the capability to safely stage matches – this is the main reason why the ICC created a Pakistan task team right after the 2009 attacks, under the leadership of Giles Clarke which has put in a lot of work in ensuring a better return for Pakistan cricket,” Richardson said.

“I would like to thank the media for its continued support and coverage of cricket in general. We certainly believe this will be an important stepping stone towards not only building the capability, handling situations within the country, but also build the confidence of the international sporting community, despite the threats made in Pakistan, you have the added capability in dealing with it. Lastly, I would like to express our appreciation for both teams particularly the World XI and for the match officials – Richie Richardson for agreeing to participate in the series. I’m pretty confident, going forward this will be an enormous help in persuading and convincing other countries to tour Pakistan,” Richardson added.

With Pakistan showing their credentials of successfully staging international games, the press asked whether it will pave the way for more international cricket especially the ICC tournaments like the under-19 events or even bigger series.

However, Richardson did not get carried away with the occasion and delivered his comments cautiously.

“The ICC events in this cycle till 2023 are anyway decided and awarded,” he said. “In the last two years, in particular, Pakistan have made tremendous strides to improve their security and bring the threat levels down. But this is a long process, it’s one of the earliest stepping stones, but a critical one. Let’s get through this tour. Let’s have hopefully other teams touring Pakistan. I’m sure in a couple of years’ time we can talk about Pakistan hosting an ICC event.”

“ICC has already agreed to invest and improve the security for a three-four year period. Whether years two and three will include a World XI is still not decided. The intention is to bring more PSL games back to Pakistan, but also for member countries to tour Pakistan, not the World XI under normal circumstances,” he added.

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