World XI tour to bring regular int’l cricket in Pakistan: Ramiz

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 8 (APP): Former captain and renowned
commentator Ramiz Raja is optimistic that the tour by the World XI
will lead to resumption of a regular international cricket calendar
in Pakistan.
“So, when a World XI is announced to tour Pakistan, it is just
not a cricket tour. Given the circumstances it, can never be just
that. It signifies that the cricketing fraternity will not let
Pakistan be left behind”, he wrote in a column for International
Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday.
He was of the view that the credit for the tour must go to the
players and the ICC for braving perceptions and possible personal
pleadings by family and friends to look at the larger picture. “The
larger picture being – you need us, we need you. That is the only
essential for cricket to survive.
“Pakistan made a strong case for bringing world cricket back
home by playing impressively out of home. Wins in the UAE, rising to
No.1 in Tests, two successful editions of the PSL, and a
frustrating-to-a-magical run at the ICC Champions Trophy – take a
bow Pakistan!,” he added.
He said without playing at home in front of passionate fans,
no idols to watch live at home for youngsters, lack of lucrative
sponsorships and players battling their own mental demons- Pakistan
was determined to ride through all these storms and more and see
through the resolve of getting cricket back home. The efforts paid
off.
He said the tour by the Zimbabwe team in 2015 and the
successful final of the PSL this year at Lahore were fledgling signs
that the cricketing world was opening up to Pakistan again.
“The PSL exposed the international fraternity to the
frustration and helplessness of the Pak players, especially the
young apprentices, who were being wronged by a situation which was
neither of their choice nor their making. The world was ready to
rally behind one of its core members,” he maintained.
“Not many would know of the persistence that went into
bringing the game back to the country. I was a member of the
Pakistan Task Team launched in 2009 to ensure the country stayed
afloat. I know of its continuous engagement with various quarters
and understand how I again have the opportunity of commentating from the box I so love!
“The barren cricket terrain of Pakistan is soon to be watered
again. Like a farmer who after having prepared the field and sowed
the seeds can now look forward to enjoying the fruits of his hard
labour, Pakistan cricket too will soon be reaping the benefits of
its hard slog over the past eight years,” he added.