ICC confirms plans for World XI series in Pakistan; Sarfraz Ahmed hopeful of cricket returning to nation

AFP, Jun, 24 2017

London: Plans for the full resumption of international cricket in Pakistan moved forward Friday when the sport's global governing body said it wanted to send a World XI to the country later this year.

File image of Pakistani spectators wait for their turn to enter Gaddafi Cricket Stadium for Pakistan Super League's (PSL) final. Reuters.

File image of Pakistani spectators wait for their turn to enter Gaddafi Cricket Stadium for Pakistan Super League's (PSL) final. Reuters.

With the exception of Zimbabwe's tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their 'home' matches outside of the country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

But Friday saw the International Cricket Council, following the conclusion of its annual meeting in London, announce that plans for a World XI to play in Pakistan later this year were "continuing to be developed".

The ICC board said it had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series between Pakistan and a World XI in a bid to help revive international cricket in the country.

All the matches would take place in Lahore and be accorded full Twenty20 international status, the ICC said, adding "further details will be announced in due course."

After Pakistan's stunning 180-run win over arch-rivals India in the final of the one-day international Champions Trophy tournament at The Oval last week, coach Mickey Arthur said he hoped the visit of the World XI would go ahead.

"We're scheduled to have a World XI in Pakistan in September for three Twenty20 games," he said.

"So hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours. We can only hope."

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed added: "I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan.

Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board and head of the ICC's Pakistan task force said, in comments reported by the Guardian in March: "The desire is to give the cricket-starved Pakistani supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action.

"Furthermore, the terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan."

Published Date: Jun 24, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115