Karachi: The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Dave Richardson feels that the World XI’s tour to Pakistan ushers a new beginning for international cricket to return to the country.
“The World XI tour will send out a positive message to the world cricket community that the security situation in Pakistan has improved and satisfactory,” Richardson said at a news conference in Lahore.
The World XI led by the South African captain Faf du Plessis played their first T20 International on Tuesday against Pakistan before a packed Gaddafi Stadium.
The tour has been backed by the International Cricket Council, which has borne expenses for the visit of security experts to Pakistan to finalise the security arrangements for the series.
Richardson made it clear that if everything went according to plan, ICC could plan future events in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is an unavoidable part of the international cricket community and the Pakistani people are very passionate about the game. The ICC is very serious about reviving international cricket in the country and we are happy the first step has been taken with the World XI tour,” he said.
The ICC official said security issue is not just confined to Pakistan but is a global concern.
“There are security concerns in other sports as well in the world. We decided to support this tour after a very positive report by Giles Clarke,” he said.
Clarke heads the ICC’s special task force on Pakistan cricket and has been given a royal treatment while visiting Lahore with the World XI squad.
The ICC official, however, made it clear that restoration of international cricket in Pakistan would be a slow process as tours by ICC member nations would all be linked to the prevailing security situation in the country.
“It is a step by step process and will take time. But the first step has been taken with this tour,” he said.
He said if Pakistan Super League matches are held in Pakistan it would help in boosting the confidence of the international cricket community about the security situation in the country.