Pakistan hopes to host more international cricket matches

Lahore, June 12 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan says he has high hopes of hosting more international matches soon after the successful tour by Zimbabwe which he believes will inspire other teams to follow suit, with Sri Lanka considering a return to the country.

Khan invited his Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) counterpart Sidath Wettimuny to the third One-Day-International in an effort to show how far Pakistan had come since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus six years ago.

“He (Sidath) was quite impressed to see the security arrangements, crowd and enthusiasm,” Khan was quoted as saying by on Friday.

“He told me he would report all of it to his board members. We are hopeful that Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan but there isn’t any definite decision yet,” Khan said.

Pakistan and India have also revived cricketing ties and will play against each other, but Khan hosed down any suggestion India would play in Pakistan, or that Pakistan would ‘host’ its series at Indian venues.

“The (memorandum of understanding) which we have signed with India explicitly states that Pakistan will host the series in the UAE (United Arab Emirates),” he said.

“It is just a speculation that we will rather go to India to play our home series. We haven’t received any such proposal.”

While the future remains unclear, Khan was pleased Zimbabwe’s visit had proved Pakistan’s ability to host matches again.

“It has been a very successful series, this series has made our base to host more matches in future. All the matches were played in front of a full house crowd. The sale of tickets was 100 percent and we generated good revenue as well,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe players told us they had not received such a rousing welcome anywhere before. The series was played in good environment and has shrugged off security fears. The series will also help us in staging the Pakistan Super League in the future,” he added.

The PCB paid the Zimbabwe players a reported $12,000 each to tour, but Khan says that arrangement would not continue.

“It was just a one-off deal. It does not mean that we will be paying every team which tours Pakistan,” Khan said.

“The Zimbabwe series was an exception. We are very thankful to Zimbabwe for visiting Pakistan. Now we will visit them in August which will be our return tour. The next series will be on bilateral terms. The team we will host will host us in return. It is as simple as that,” he added.

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