ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has welcomed the return of international cricket to Pakistan and hopes that the series involving a World XI side in Lahore this week will lead to more teams playing in the country. It is the first high-profile series in Pakistan since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 led to their isolation from international cricket.
"This is a good day for world cricket as the PCB hosts a World XI in Lahore. It has been a long and tough journey as the PCB, Pakistan players and fans have been starved of the opportunity to stage, play and watch international cricket in their own country," said Manohar in a statement.
"The ability of Pakistan to play international cricket at home is crucial to the long term health of the game in Pakistan and one of the main reasons why the ICC established the Pakistan Task Force under the leadership of Giles Clarke, to explore, in partnership with the PCB, how we can get international cricket back to Pakistan safely and on a regular basis."
Manohar hopes the visit by the World XI team will lead to international teams visiting Pakistan frequently. "I send both teams and the PCB the very best wishes from the whole cricket family for a competitive series that the passionate fans in Pakistan can enjoy. I sincerely hope that this week’s games mark the start of a steady flow of international cricket to this great cricket nation," he added.
The three match T20 series between Pakistan and World XI has been accorded international status by the world governing body.