KARACHI: A combined British Universities cricket team will play two one-day games in Pakistan next month, a tour welcomed by the hosts on Thursday as a chance to repair the country’s image abroad.
“The British team’s tour will help us create a soft image of Pakistan as all the players in the team are foreigners and will be well taken care of,” said Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s director of international cricket.
International cricket teams have refused to tour Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009. The team was heading to the stadium where the university side will play.
The attack killed eight people and wounded seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach. Pakistan later lost its World Cup co-hosting rights.
The British Universities team will arrive in Lahore on April 2 and play two one-day games against a Pakistan Cricket Board Under-19 team at Gaddafi Stadium on April 4 and 6.
Pakistan have invited Bangladesh to play a limited-over series next month, but the tour appears in doubt over security fears.
Those fears have forced Pakistan to play their home series on neutral venues such as England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan are also planning a five-match one-day series against Australia in Sri Lanka this August. Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998.