Pakistan “safe place to play cricket”: Ejaz Butt

Updated: May 25, 2011, 15:58 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ejaz Butt has insisted that his country is a “safe place to play” the game, and thanked Afghanistan for sending their team there.

“We want to send a message to the world that Pakistan is a safe place to play cricket and the people of Pakistan would welcome any team coming here. I take this opportunity to thank the Afghanistan Government and Afghanistan Cricket Board for sending their team,” Butt said in a statement.

“I hope this tour will pave the way for more such visits by foreign teams to Pakistan,” he added.

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka Cricket turned down an invitation by Pakistan to return to the troubled nation, saying that security was still a problem two years after its players were attacked there.

Butt noted that the visit of Afghanistan cricket team was also a good sign for the game of cricket in Pakistan.

“Unfortunately, our cricket frenzy nation is being deprived of international cricket at home. Capacity-filled stadiums in domestic tournaments reflect how dear this game is for them. PCB, in this difficult time, has tried to keep the momentum rolling by concentrating more on domestic cricket and creating opportunities for the National Team to play their home series at alternative venues,” he added.

Butt also stated that the PCB has tried to ensure the highest-level security for the visiting Afghan team tour, and thanked the Pakistan Government for providing that.