World XI to visit Pakistan, says ECB chairman
London: An International Cricket Council (ICC) World XI will visit Pakistan in a gesture of support for a country which is unable to stage international cricket at home because of security threats.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke, writing in the September issue of the Wisden Cricketer magazine, said it was not yet possible for individual countries to resume normal tours.
“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,” Clarke said.
“It will be an historic moment when international cricket resumes in Pakistan and the first ICC team walks out.”
Pakistan have not hosted an international match since armed gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March last year. Seven people were killed and six team members and a coach were injured. Clarke also said England would continue to stage neutral tests featuring Pakistan next year and in 2012. Pakistan played a two-test series against Australia this season.
He said the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) income had fallen from 27 million pounds (USD 42 million) to 10 million because of its international isolation.
“The ECB intends to assist in staging more Pakistan games here in 2011 and 2012,” Clarke said.
“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.”