Lahore, Sep 13 (IANS) Hours after Pakistan defeated the World XI in the first game by 20 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium here, marking the revival of international cricket in the country, an elated Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said the World XI will tour Pakistan every year for the next two years also.
“The World XI series is now planned for every year for three years. This is the first of the three series and there will be two more in the next years,” Sethi was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.
“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.
“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 hoped.
Sethi claimed that the country has successfully tackled the menace of terrorism, which he felt will help in bringing in more international teams to play in Pakistan.
“Now we can say with assurance that the war against terrorism has been taken to its logical conclusion and that 90-95 percent of terrorism has abated in this country,” he said.
“A sufficient condition was to convince the international community in general and the ICC in particular that the situation was safe to play cricket.
“First step in that direction was to at least try and play at least one match in Pakistan, which is why I fought tooth and nail to have the PSL final in Lahore.
“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.
Pakistan rode on Babar Azam’s career-best 52-ball 86 to secure a 20-run win in the first of the three-match T20 series against the Faf du Plessis-led World XI.
The second game of the series will be played later on Wednesday.