LAHORE – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said on Wednesday that the World XI team would be touring Pakistan on an annual basis for next two years as well.
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“The World XI series is now planned for every year for the three years. This is first of the three series and there will be two more in the next years,” he told The Guardian.
The PCB chairman continued that many more international teams could be touring Pakistan in the coming years if all goes well.
Sethi expressed that the country took a giant step towards reviving international cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in the first encounter of Independence Cup.
He also detailed about the upcoming tours of Sri Lankan and West Indies team.
“Once this [World XI tour] is done the Sri Lankans have committed to play one or two matches in Lahore next month and then the West Indies have committed to me that they will come for three matches in November,” he said.
“If there is no untoward incident that mars any of these events then I’d imagine by next year at least one or two big teams will come to Pakistan,” he added.
The chairman noted that a couple of years ago, the board did not want to risk anything that might endanger the guests even if they were prepared to come and added that now the war against terrorism was taken to its logical conclusion and 90-95% of terrorism had abated in this country.
Najam Sethi credited the successful PSL final in Lahore as a basis for the World XI tour that rebuilt trust for international players to visit Pakistan.
“Security experts affiliated with various boards and also with the ICC came to the Lahore final and saw for themselves the excellent security arrangements that were in place, and then they went back and gave their reports. All this formed the basis for a World XI tour,” he explained.
In the first T20 match, Pakistan vanquished the high-powered World XI by 20 runs taking a 1-0 lead in three matches.
Pakistan, sent in to bat by World XI skipper Faf du Plessis, amassed 197-5 with Babar Azam hitting a rapid 52-ball 86.
The World XI started off well with Tamim Iqbal hitting 18 and Hashim Amla smashing three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball 26 but Rumman Raees dismissed both in the same over to put the star team under pressure.
World XI managed to score 177 runs with the loss of seven wickets. Sohail Khan, Rumman Raees and Shadab Khan took two wickets each.