Islamabad: Former Pakistan cricketer and TV analyst Basit Ali has applauded Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf and sports minister of Sindh province, Dr Mohammed Ali Shah for their efforts to bring back international cricket to the country, and believes Pakistan is ready to host international cricket.
No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since March 2009, when masked gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team on their way to the Gaddafi stadium where they were involved in a Test match against Pakistan in Lahore.
Whilst the law and order situation in Pakistan is a legitimate cause of concern for many visitors, Ashraf has made many a valiant but failed attempt in trying to restore Pakistan as a viable venue for foreign teams, but to no avail.
It is in this context that the decision by a group of international players to tour the country under the emblem of an “International XI” has been met with great acclaim by fans and observers in Pakistan, and Ali believes it is a good news for Pakistan,
“I have full faith in the authorities and Dr. Shah who is the minister for sports for Sindh that they will deliver an excellent and safe environment for staging of these matches. In addition, Zaka Ashraf must also be praised for his determination and hard work for this to happen. I am convinced that they will succeed in attracting International cricket back to Pakistan,” PakPassion.net quoted Ali, as saying.
“The people of Karachi will come to the stadium to show their appreciation for this effort by both teams and they will pack the National Stadium Karachi to prove that we love this game and that Pakistan is ready to welcome all International teams of the world,” he added.
First Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 17:10