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ICC backs World XI tour to Pakistan later this year

The announcement will certainly lift the Pakistani fans' spirits, who have been longing to watch their national team play at home.

Junaid Khan of Pakistan
Pakistan. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

The ICC has extended its support towards the proposed World XI tour of Pakistan in an effort to bring back international cricket to the country. A World XI team is likely to play 3 T20Is in Pakistan against the national team, and these games will be accorded international status.

The announcement will certainly lift the spirits of Pakistani fans who have been longing to watch their national team play at home. If the proposed series does take place, it could be the first step towards bringing back mainstream international cricket back to Pakistan.

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Reports of a World XI team flying to Lahore in September this year had made the rounds. The touring team would be provided beefed up security, as had been the case during the PSL final.

A series on the cards

“There is a series on the cards. Various organizers and security people, including consultants to the ICC and various boards are involved. So far dates and a few other things being discussed. Will have more details once we’re a little further along the process,” a PCB source was quoted as saying to Cricbuzz earlier in March this year.

After the attacks on the touring Sri Lankan team‘s bus in 2009, which left a couple of players injured, international cricket in the country has dried up completely. Teams have been reluctant to tour the country because of security reasons.

However, Pakistan did host Zimbabwe for a historic limited-overs series in 2015, but other Full Member nations haven’t expressed their willingness to travel to Pakistan to play cricket. As a result, they have been forced to adopt the UAE as their new home, and have played most of their cricket there in the last 7 years.

Of late, the Windies backed out of a proposed tour to Pakistan citing security reasons. The setback came after the conclusion of the PSL final in Lahore. Similarly, Bangladesh decided against touring Pakistan for a proposed two-match T20I series, after the Champions Trophy, due to security reasons. The PCB then retaliated by putting off Pakistan’s tour of Bangladesh for at least a year.

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