It looks like things are finally looking up for Pakistan to host international matches on their home soil.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling over the idea of sending a World XI to Pakistan in September. The Pakistani soil hasn't hosted an international series, except the Zimbabwe (2015), since the unfortunate terrorist attacks on Sri Lankan Team in 2009. This is a welcome news for passionate Pakistani fans as ICC plans for a Four-match T20 series named The Independence Cup, marking the 70 years of partition, to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Ever since the attacks of 2009, Pakistan has adopted UAE as their home soil. Even the two editions of Pakistan Super League, barring the PSL 2 Final, were staged in UAE. The successful hosting of the PSL 2 final on March 5 demonstrated the possibility of organizing cricket in Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket board provided elaborate security arrangements to the players that traveled to Lahore for the Final.
Fans hold up placards at the PSL final between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore. pic.twitter.com/v5TmCyj25U
— Pakistan (@BeautyPakistani) March 5, 2017
The city of Lahore was converted into a fort with best troops deployed in the security of players that included former West Indian Captain, Darren Sammy. The success of Final without any mishap puts a strong case forward for the hosting of the Independence Cup.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is working closely with ICC to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly so that it can inspire some confidence in the International Teams to tour Pakistan. ECB President, Giles Clarke, is the head of the ICC's Pakistan Task force which is working relentlessly to restore normalcy in Pakistan Cricket.
There has been no announcement so far regarding the players who are going to take part in the World XI series but the schedule for the series has been released. The Players will assemble in Dubai on 17 September to play the Four-matches in Lahore which are to be held on 22nd, 23rd, 28th and 29th of September. The security arrangements will be very much similar to those for the PSL Final.
The International Players who played the PSL Final in Lahore were very much satisfied with the security arrangements. David Malan, along with Chris Jordan from England, traveled to Lahore for the Final and was very happy about the efforts going on to bring cricket back to the Pakistani Soil.
Image credits: @Omar_quraishi