LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi believes successful organisation of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) second edition’s final in Lahore paved way for the Independence Cup, and hopefully more teams are going to visit the country now.
A 14-member squad under the leadership of South African skipper Faf du Plessis and coached by former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower arrived in Lahore early morning on September 11 amid tight security to participate in a three-match T20I series.
The squad became the first high-profile team to visit the country in more than eight years after the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked back in 2009.
Sethi, who started his third tenure as the head of PCB, while talking to The Express Tribune, revealed his belief that hosting a team full of stars will eventually help in convincing other boards to send their teams to Pakistan for bilateral series in the future.
“After successful organisation of the Independence Cup, we are really hopeful that we will be able to revive international cricket in the country,” said Sethi. “I am also optimistic that Sri Lanka will play one or two T20Is in Lahore, which will be followed by the West Indies T20Is later in the year.”
The 69-year-old further revealed that hosting PSL2 final in Lahore proved a stepping stone in hosting World XI, and also believes that people of Pakistan will always remember visiting players for their contribution in reviving the game in the country.
“PSL2 final was the first step to convince these people to come to Pakistan and play cricket and they are now entertaining the crowd,” he said. “I firmly believe that people of Pakistan will always remember these players’ contribution in reviving international cricket in the country.”
Yousuf hails entertainment-packed series opener
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf hailed the level of competitive cricket played in the first T20I on Monday, where Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit beat World XI by 20 runs in a high-scoring encounter.
“Both teams gave a good match to the crowd,” said Yousuf. “With yesterday’s match, we’ve sent a message out loud that Pakistan is a secure country for international cricket.”
Yousuf, who represented Pakistan in 90 Tests, 288 ODIs and three T20Is, and scored more than 17 thousand runs combined, also applauded teams’ performance in the opening match. “The way Pakistan team played against top players of the world was tremendous,” he said.
The 43-year-old believes there will be more entertainment for the crowd in the remaining matches. “The excitement among the crowd was seen after many years. It seems like they were missing international cricket,” he said. “I am sure there will be more entertainment in the coming matches.”