LAHORE: International Cricket Council (ICC) Director Giles Clarke has on Monday said that it is not possible to imagine ICC and cricket itself without Pakistan, and termed Pakistan a safe country.
ICC director expressed his views in a press conference along with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi, and said the tour of World XI has opened doors for international cricket in Pakistan. He hoped that other international teams would also start touring Pakistan soon.
Clarke said he is very happy to see the unity among Pakistanis who want cricket in their grounds. He said this nation cannot be kept away from cricket, and it will now witness stars from eight top cricket-playing nations in action at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Najam Sethi gave the good news that Pakistan will also invite South Africa after hosting Sri Lanka and West Indies, and looked hopeful that the Proteas will accept the invitation.
Sethi further added that Zimbabwe were the first to help Pakistan in the revival of international cricket, and are willing to tour Pakistan again. He said the credit of the World XI tour goes to their coach Andy Flower.
Najam Sethi said this is not just a series of cricket, but a historic moment for Pakistan as the world will witness the sport back in the country.
Andy Flower congratulated the people of Pakistan as they would be able to see cricket in their country again. World XI skipper Faf du Plessis said the matches against Pakistan on their home soil would be interesting.
Both of them shared their thoughts in a presser during which the team jersey of World XI was revealed as well. The visitors will wear yellow and blue colors, while Pakistan team will be seen in traditional green outfits.
Faf du Plessis thanked Pakistani people for giving such a warm welcome, and said he is proud to lead the World XI against the Green Shirts. He said his team are here for something bigger than the sport.
He continued that Pakistan are a strong team but his side will try to win the series by beating them. The World XI have a very balanced squad, he added.
World XI coach Andy Flower paid homage to those who have given sacrifices against terrorism. He said he has played in Pakistan, and is very happy that international cricket has come back here. He also claimed that the spectators will get to watch excellent cricket.