Zaheer praises ICC role for brining cricket back to Pakistan

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LAHORE, Sept 14 (APP): Former president International
Cricket Council Zaheer Abbas has praised the role of the ICC for
resumption of international cricket in Pakistan by sending its
World XI to cricket starved country.
“ICC has done a tremendous job by supplementing the efforts
of Pakistan Cricket Board for bringing back international cricket
and its role will always be remembered in Pakistan cricket history,”
he told APP here on Thursday ahead of Pakistan teams third and last
T20 international of the Independence Cup series, against World
XI onFriday.
Zaheer Abbas, a former Pakistan captain and a batting great,
said that without the all-out support of the ICC it was not possible
to arrange the tour of World XI, which has opened the doors of
international cricket on Pakistan.
“Punjab government and our security agencies also played a
paramount role for ensuring this elite cricket event by providing
foolproof security to the foreign teams and officials,” he said.
“Dark nights of Pakistan cricket are finally over and a new
era of cricket has begun in the country which is evident from the
immense interest of crowd assembled during the first two T20 matches,”
he added.
“Both (PCB and the ICC) worked hard together in close
coordination to address the issue of return of international cricket
and similar efforts are needed in future as well to have such
international events in the country on regular basis,” he asserted.
Former ICC President pointed out that during his stint with
games ruling body, ICC, he also encouraged and supported the moves of
the PCB for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.
He said it was unfortunate that Pakistan was deprived of
international cricket during the past nine years and its cricket arenas
wore a deserted look and cricket suffered a lot.
Zaheer appreciated the efforts of newly elected PCB Chairman
Najam Sethi for taking constructive measures for making it possible
that foreign teams agree to visit Pakistan.
The former batting icon said due to PCB’s persistent efforts
Sri Lankan and West Indies have also agreed to visit Pakistan in
coming months which will be making Pakistan cricket ‘memorable’
as watching three foreign teams playing quality cricket will have
a greater impact on our national cricket.
“Cricket is a binding force and adds to national unity and
brotherhood, it is the identity of Pakistan globally due to country’s
excellence because of team’s success in world cup, years ago and
now in Champions Trophy,” he said adding “the resumption of
international cricket will help in enhancing the confidence and
experience of the players while playing in their own stadiums in
front of lively crowds,” he said.