ICC to allocate cricket event to Pakistan in couple of years

Paul Collingwood is relishing the opportunity of playing for World XI at the age of 41

Paul Collingwood is relishing the opportunity of playing for World XI at the age of 41

Chief Executive, International Cricket Council, David Richardson has expressed the hope that Pakistan will be allocated an ICC approved event in a couple of years as security situation has improved a lot in the country.

He acknowledged the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) efforts for the revival of worldwide cricket in Pakistan.

Collingwood also recalled his fond memories of playing in Pakistan and added, "The last time I came to Pakistan I understood that cricket in Pakistan is a religion".

Pakistan is now hosting a World XI cricket team for three T20 games in the eastern city of Lahore, a series that is being touted as a watershed moment for those bidding to restore worldwide cricket in the country.

ICC official said Pakistan has enhanced its capabilities in security in past two years and successfully organised the final of the Pakistan Super League which proved the turning point for bringing back worldwide cricket to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan cricketers have not disappointed fans who thronged the Gaddafi Stadium to witness their superstars in action. "ICC will be extending help to Pakistan for the return of worldwide cricket and it will be persuading the other cricket playing nations to visit Pakistan in due course of time", said the ICC official. "In India's case they genuinely are a very busy country", Richardson was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying.

Fans showed support for the World XI outfit on Wednesday. "But the fact remains that we have 12 members, and India doesn't have any more voice than any other member". Meanwhile, Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board, Najam Sethi said that World XI will again visit Pakistan in year 2018 and 2019 to help promote worldwide cricket in the country.

He added: "You can not ignore the political situation that is between India and Pakistan at the moment and the difficulties that might exist".

"But also to bring member countries to tour Pakistan, not a World XI tour. They also need extra security so I think the Andy Flower and the PCB has preferred practical approach in this regard". Federal and provincial governments, law enforcing agencies personnel, army and rangers jawans put out their best to ensure safe and secure cricket playing environment to foreign as well as local cricketers.

"It's very heartening to see worldwide cricket in Pakistan".

Richardson praised the PCB for having a very good domestic structure, which helped Pakistan survive even without having global cricket at home.

When a journalist asked the ICC chief executive about allowing Pakistan a bilateral series, he said: "It's not an ICC which schedule bilateral series between two countries but actually, when two countries agree, then bilateral series is held. I hope with this World XI tour, they will start hosting more worldwide teams and the level of Pakistan cricket will improve further".

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