PCB chairman confirms hosting Sri Lanka and West Indies in Pakistan

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PCB chairman confirms hosting Sri Lanka and West Indies in Pakistan

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SportsCafe Desk

09/14/2017

PCB chairman Najam Sethi, on Wednesday, has confirmed that they will be hosting West Indies in a three-match T20I series at the end of November and welcome Sri Lanka for a lone T20I in Lahore in October. Currently, Pakistan are hosting the World XI team for a three-match T20I series in Lahore.

Cricket in Pakistan got a major fillip with the World XI team facing the home side in a three-match T20I series. Apart from a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in 2015, the nation was starved of international cricket since the dastardly terror strike on the touring Sri Lankans in 2009. A PSL final and the World XI team's visit in the same year are promising signs for Pakistan cricket and something that has already started to serve as a stepping stone towards building the confidence of the international sporting community towards the country. As a result, Windies Cricket has also given green signal to play a three-match T20 series in the subcontinental country.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi confirmed the series by stating, “The agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board has been finalized and done and they have confirmed they will come to Lahore in November to play three T20 Internationals,” reported PTI.

“After the tour of World XI things will improve far as security and other issues are concerned and foreign teams will be coming to Pakistan to play international cricket.”

While the Punjab Government is providing 'Presidential level security' for the week-long World XI series in Lahore, Sethi expressed his desire to host a few games in the other cities too, notably Karachi. 

"I have the desire to take some games out of Lahore and host them in Karachi, but everyone I speak to reject that idea. They tell me that we've succeeded in hosting something well in Lahore (PSL 2 final) so keep that going. First host the PSL in Karachi, then we will come there," Sethi added.

Sethi also confirmed that before West Indies make their way to Pakistan, they will host Sri Lanka for a lone T20I in the month of October, but added they are still trying to convince Sri Lanka for two more matches. 

“I am still trying to convince Sri Lanka to play at least two matches in the coming series in Lahore,” Sethi said.

Security fears with militants disturbing the peace at regular intervals had forced foreign teams to stay away from Pakistan. The PCB did try to convince Bangladesh but failed twice, and Windies and Ireland too refused to tour the nation. But Sethi believes that the perceptions towards the country have been changing gradually. 

“A few years back, teams were reluctant to come to Pakistan over security fears but with successful military operations, we have seen that 90-95% terrorism has abated. So perceptions have changed and we hope for gradual revival of international cricket,” He concluded.

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