Sir Lanka tour beginning of new int’l cricket era in Pakistan: President

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LAHORE, Oct 09 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said the tour of Sri Lankan cricket team to Pakistan was the beginning of a new era of international cricket in the country as it would encourage other nations to play the game on Pakistani grounds in near future.
“It is a new beginning of international cricket in Pakistan. The environment is ideal for the international cricket as the stadium packed with cricket crazy fans shows passion for the game,” he said during his visit to the Gadaffi Stadium during the third and last T20 international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The president, himself a keen cricket lover, recalled that he had witnessed the World Cup and other international cricket matches held in Pakistan in the past. The country, however, had been deprived of international cricket for the last many years, he added.
The visit of Lankan team and the jam-packed stadium, he said, explicitly expressed the love of Pakistanis for the game of cricket.
He showed gratitude to the visiting Sri Lankan team, saying their tour would serve as an inspiration for the other cricket teams to tour Pakistan.
President Alvi praised the performance of young Lankan side and noted that some of its senior players opted not to visit Pakistan.
“Now with young Lankan players dominating and exhibiting high class cricket, it would be difficult for the senior players to compete for a place in the team ,” he added
in a lighter vein.
He said it was a good omen that the foreign cricket delegates belonging to England and Ireland Cricket Boards, who were also present during the match, would be monitoring the arrangements made for the safety and security of the foreign teams.