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Overseas players’ comfort level in Pakistan is growing all the time, says ICC CEO David Richardson

The successful hosting of PSL matches in Pakistan has impressed the ICC CEO.

David Richardson World T20
ICC CEO David Richardson speaks to media. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Pakistan has not received much of an opportunity to play host to cricket teams on the international stage in the last one decade, especially after the horrific terror attack that had targeted the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore. They even missed the opportunity to host a cricket World Cup in 2011 even though it was held in the sub-continent.

However, 10 years since that incident, Pakistan successfully hosted the business end of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 on their real home soil and it certainly will boost the voices of those who want the country back as an international host.

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The improvement in the ground situations for Pakistan to return as a host has encouraged people and the International Cricket Council (ICC) is particularly elated. The country did not get to host any top team in their territory since the Lahore tragedy except for some moderately known sides like the Windies and Zimbabwe. The visit by the African side in 2015 was particularly seen as a moment from when Pakistan’s image as a host started undergoing a change.

ICC Chief Executive Officer David Richardson has welcomed the improvement saying the hosting of the PSL has “changed the perception” of Pakistan as a cricketing destination.

They’ve done a tremendous job

“I think they’ve done a tremendous job and the level of comfort is growing all the time among the foreign players,” Richardson said during the final of PSL 2019 between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi, ESPNcricinfo reported. The tournament’s closing phase was shifted to Pakistan after matches were held in the UAE. There are also talks that the entire PSL could be held in the country next year.

“I know some security officials from Australia and other countries have come to see the matches here. Step by step, certainly, Pakistan is on the right path and I know that the PCB will be redoubling their efforts to encourage people and teams to come across and certainly it will be with the ICC’s support,” Richardson further said.

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