KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf has said that international cricket will soon return to the country, revealing that the board was in talks with as many as four boards including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Pakistan got a taste of some action with back-to-back exhibition matches between the International World XI and the Pakistan All Stars that saw packed crowds at the National Stadium Karachi. Ashraf, who attended the second of the two matches on Sunday, said that fans will not have to wait for long to see top-flight international cricket return on home soil.
“We are getting positive messages from the boards,” the PCB chairman said at the stadium. “Discussions are well underway. I cannot give the exact timeline but I can say we will give the good news soon. International cricket may return this year.”
He reiterated the lack of support from the Punjab government was the reason behind the cancellation of Bangladesh tour in May.
“We might consider Karachi as the venue next time considering the love people here have for the game.”
Responding to a question regarding the Pakistan Premier League (PPL), the chairman said the board’s committee was working hard to make the planned event possible next year.
‘PCB gave all-out support to Dr Shah’
Meanwhile, negating the impression that the PCB distanced itself from affairs of the exhibition matches, organised by Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, Zaka said the official had all the support he needed.
“This successful event could not have been possible without the PCB’s support. As far as security was concerned Dr Shah said it was his responsibility.”
Meanwhile, PCB’s Director General Javed Miandad said the matches were a delightful moment for fans.
“Such events will help in creating a soft message that will help in revival of international cricket.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2012.