World cricket back in Pakistan

2010-08-17 15:53
Giles Clarke (AFP)

London - An International Cricket Council World XI is to be the first overseas side to compete in Pakistan since terrorists attacked Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in March last year, EWCB chairman Giles Clarke said on Tuesday.

Given the security situation in Pakistan, the country has not staged international cricket since but England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Clarke said plans were afoot to send an ICC team with the country's game having taken a huge financial hit as a result.

The resumption of tours in Pakistan would also provide a fillip to a country reeling from severe flooding which have affected an estimated 20 million people in recent weeks.

"World cricket must keep giving Pakistan cricket the chance to fund itself and move forward, to do something for the spectator in Pakistan," Clarke told the Wisden Cricketer.

"The security challenges are enormous but we cannot allow the terrorists to win. They must lose by an innings - repeatedly.

"So world cricket must go back and play in Pakistan."

However, Clarke added: "I do not think it will be possible for individual national teams to tour yet."

Even so, he concluded that "with determination and courage an ICC World XI in due course will go and play against Pakistan in her great cities and there will be a marvellous atmosphere.

"Cricket cannot abandon a nation with such a magnificent history in the game, such wonderful players and such enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporters. It will be an historic moment when international cricket resumes in Pakistan and the first ICC team walks out."

As a result of having to switch matches abroad, Pakistan played 'home' Tests against Australia in England earlier this summer.

But Clarke said there had to be a push to get matches resumed in Pakistan itself to reward the "passionate support" for the game there.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board's economic needs make it imperative," he added, revealing that the PCB's income has dropped from £27m to £10m as a result of mising out on Test, one-day and Twenty20 internationals.

After their ongoing matches in England ends, Pakistan's next 'home' series will be later this year against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates beginning in late October.

Read more on:    icc  |  pakistan

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