London: The devastating floods that have ravaged Pakistan could do what months of persuasion by PCB has failed to achieve. Bring international cricketers to the trouble-torn country albeit for a charity match to raise funds for the millions of victims.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke has revealed that there are plans for an ICC World XI to play in Pakistan, which has not hosted international cricket since the Lahore terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in March last year.
"World cricket must keep giving Pakistan cricket the chance to fund itself and move forward, to do something for the spectator in Pakistan. The security challenges are enormous but we cannot allow the terrorists to win. They must lose by an innings, repeatedly," Clarke, who is also the chairman of the ICC`s Pakistan Task Team, has written in the latest issue of a cricket magazine.
"So world cricket must go back and play in Pakistan. I do not think it will be possible for individual national teams to tour yet. But with determination and courage an ICC World XI in due course will go and play against Pakistan in her great cities and there will be a marvellous atmosphere," he said.
Clarke said return of cricket to Pakistan would be a historic moment as and when it happens.
"Cricket cannot abandon a nation with such a magnificent history in the game, such wonderful players and such enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporters. It will be an historic moment when international cricket resumes in Pakistan and the first ICC team walks out," he said.
He also revealed that the two neutral venue Tests between Pakistan and Australia in England this summer will not be a one-off thing and the ECB would be open to hosting more such matches.
"The ECB intends to assist in staging more Pakistan games ere (in England) in 2011 and 2012. The atmosphere, the passionate support and, of course, the tremendous cricket played by the Pakistan team made it a compelling experience.
The PCB`s economic needs make it imperative," he said.
According to Clarke, the immediate consequence of Pakistan`s inability to host international cricket has seen the PCB`s income fall from 27 million pounds to 10 million pounds.
"It`s a brutal impact that few enterprises can survive; terrorism does not care about its human consequences," he said.