The head of the International Cricket Council’s special task force on Pakistan cricket, Giles Clarke is hopeful that international cricket will return soon to the country.
On a visit to Lahore, Clarke said that he could understand the feelings of the Pakistani people who are passionate about cricket but have not been able to see overseas teams play in the country since 2009.
“I feel sad and can understand how the Pakistani people feel. But I am also hopeful that with the security situation in Pakistan improving, the day is not far off when the Pakistani people will be able to see their team play against overseas sides at home,” Clarke told a news conference that he addressed along with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan.
The former head of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who also met with the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other government officials, said that his meeting had been very productive.
“Pakistan is an important member of the ICC and we want to see international cricket in the country. We are doing whatever we can towards this direction,” said Clarke.
Stating that Pakistan cricket had been through a tough time because of the security concerns, Clarke appreciated PCB’s efforts to convince the cricket world it was safe to play in the country.
Giles, who was given a demonstration of the security arrangements that the board has planned with the Punjab government for overseas players and teams, also visited the National Cricket Academy.
No international team has visited Pakistan since 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, an incident in which six Pakistani policemen were killed and a umpire and a player got wounded.
The PCB chief said the board was working on its plan to have the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore in March as well try to convince the West Indies team to play a few T20 matches as well.
He said the PCB officials had been in touch with the Federation of International cricket players association and would try to meet them in person to give them a realistic briefing on the security situation in Pakistan.