Pakistan to host Asia Cup next year: Najam Sethi

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LAHORE, Oct 29 (APP):Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi said on Sunday that Pakistan would host the Emerging Asia Cricket Cup next year in April, which will serve as an effective medium to bring back further international cricket in the country.
He was addressing a news conference here at Gaddafi Stadium along with President Sri Lankan Cricket Board Janathapriya Thilanga Sumathipala, Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmad and the Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera.
“It is another step forward for the revival of international
cricket and we look forward to hold this event in a successful
manner,” said the PCB chairman. He said five top teams of Asia and one qualifying emerging team would feature in the Asia Cup.
He said it is a historic day in Pakistan cricket that Sri
Lankan cricket team is playing in Pakistan after the tragic
incident of 2009, when their team bus was attacked by terrorists.
“It is the beginning of a new era in our national cricket and we are delighted that Lankan team is playing in Pakistan, no matter after a long gap,” said the PCB chief.
Najam Sethi said Pakistan Sunday hosted the Development Committee meeting of the Asian Cricket Council at a local hotel here, which was attended by respective members of the committee from various countries.
“It was another historic cricket event which we hosted and we are thankful to Asian Cricket Council for allocating the meeting to us,” he said.
To a question, Najam Sethi said the dates for the tour of the
West Indies team to Pakistan would be finalised in a couple of days.
“We are well on path for resumption of the international cricket, which is being played in Pakistan now, no matter in patches or in the shape of a small event, as our smaller steps would become bigger in due course of time as far bringing back complete international cricket is concerned,” he added.
“We are confident that by year 2020, we will be able to have full fledged international cricket events in Pakistan,” he said adding “The journey started with the tour of Zimbabwe, holding of PSL final, hosting the World XI and now the Lankan side playing in Pakistan. These are clear indications that we will be able to have full-fledged cricket events in the years to come.”
Sri Lankan Cricket Board President Thilanga Sumathipala paid glowing tributes to Pakistan for supporting the cause of cricket in world, specially in Sri Lanka. “Pakistan is a big brother to us and it supported our cricket in adverse circumstances and we cannot leave Pakistan alone at a time when it wants resumption of international cricket,” he said.
“We remained in a state of war for thirty years and during that period, Pakistan did not back out of its any commitment to play cricket in Sri Lankan and we value its contribution for supporting our cricket and now we’re lending a hand to Pakistan in the same spirit for resumption of international cricket,” said Sumathipala, who chaired the ACC evelopment committee meeting as its chairman.
He said Pakistan cannot be left in isolation, cannot be left alone due to the situation it was facing today and they are here to support Pakistan cricket.
“If Pakistan cricket is weaken, then cricket in Asia will become weak and also in the world,” he said adding “Sri Lankan Board is happy to help Pakistan cricket and we will send our all teams (Lankan Junior, A and senior teams) to visit Pakistan in near future.”
He said Pakistan served the cause of world cause and called for launching collective efforts for bringing back international cricket to Pakistan.
“We want to have peaceful cricket in Pakistan which cannot be overlooked for hosting international cricket,” said the Lankan cricket chief.