The International Cricket Council is hoping that the World XI tour will pave way for more high-profile series in the coming future and the international cricket will return to the nation with more nations visiting there.
“I am delighted that Pakistan will be hosting a high-profile series, which features several top international cricketers from a number of ICC Members.
“This tour is not only important for cricket in Pakistan but also for international cricket since it opens the possibility of other teams, media and sponsors visiting Pakistan for bilateral series,” said Clarke.
“Pakistan has been an important member of the ICC and the cricket community has felt its pain. As part of its duty of care, the cricket community has always ensured that the sport is not affected due to no fault of the PCB, when it has continued to play its away series off-shore.”
Sri Lanka and West Indies have agreed to play T20Is series in Pakistan after the World XI tour. Both teams will assess the situation afte the World XI tour and will decide to tour Pakistan in October and November.
Apart from Zimmbabwe in 2015, no top team has visited Pakistan since March 2009 when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked inin Lahore.
Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi also thanked everyone who helped bring cricket back to Pakistan. He said that a security delegation will be coming to Lahore in September to see the arragements.
“This tour is different as the ICC has supported us all the way and its security delegation will be coming to Lahore in first week of September to inspect the security arrangements and plans,” PCB chief Najam Sethi said.
According to the schedule, the World XI will play three T20 internationalson September 12, 13 and 15 in Lahore after holding a two-day camp in Dubai.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, who has visited the country many a times, said that ICC wants to see regular international cricket with all member countries playing in Pakistan.
“The ICC wants to see regular international cricket being played safely in all its Member countries and the World XI playing Pakistan in Lahore next month is a step towards that for the PCB.
“The PCB’s plans for the tour will include comprehensive security arrangements for the safety and security of the players, officials, media and spectators. As such, the ICC is fully supportive of these games. That said, all the stakeholders will remain vigilant and re-evaluate the situation if required,” said Richardson.
“We are optimistic that this will be the next step in a steady and safe return of international cricket to Pakistan.”
Captain of the World XI team Faf du Plessis of South Africa said that he is looking forward to play in Lahore.
“Like most of the players, I look forward to my maiden tour to Lahore and play my part in the safe and gradual resumption of international cricket in Pakistan,” said du Plessis.
“All the members of the squad have complete faith and trust in the assessment and judgement of the security experts, who have assured us that there will be no comprise on the safety and security of all those involved in the series.
“As professionals, we are getting paid to play in the series, but the bottom-line is that if we did not feel safe, no amount of money would get us there. In this background, we will land in Lahore with nothing except cricket in our minds.”