Kolkata: Pakistan’s famous Champions Trophy victory last month has done a world of good to Pakistan cricket as earlier the ICC had said that a World XI would be sent to the country where the doors of international cricket was closed way back in 2009, after a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team.
If things work according to plan, then former Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene might lead the World XI in Pakistan for the three match T20 series which would be granted an international status. All three matches would be played at the famous Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore.
Following the terrorist attack in 2009 on the Sri Lankan team bus that left one player injured, the doors of international cricket has been shut which has barred the national team from performing in front of their own fans. Pakistan was made to play it’s home matches in the United Arab Emirates. Zimbabwe is the only Test playing nation that has toured the nation ever since then when they competed against Pakistan in a full limited overs series.
But Pakistan’s emphatic Champions Trophy title victory has indicated that the future is bright for cricket in Pakistan. They would indeed be delighted to go toe-to-toe against some big names in the World XI side and thus, international cricket in all probability might make a comeback in the country.
Pakistan’s newly appointed skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed said after the final of the Champions Trophy that this series against the World XI side is a stepping stone for international cricket to return to Pakistan.
“I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan,” said Sarfaraz after the final of the Champions Trophy.
Coach Mickey Arthur too was optimistic of the World XI series paving the way for teams to tour Pakistan in the future.
“We’re scheduled to have a World XI in Pakistan in September for three Twenty20 games. So hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours. We can only hope,” he said.
Quite interestingly, Mahela Jayawardene was part of the team that was attacked in 2009. Nonetheless, such a tournament would do a world of good for international cricket to return to Pakistan.