Shaharyar Khan, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, says he has high hopes of reviving International Cricket in Pakistan after the successful tour by Zimbabwe, which according to him might inspire other teams to follow the suit.
Khan invited the chairman of Sri Lankan Cricket Board, Sidath Wettimuny to the third ODI of the Pak-Zim series to show how Pakistani security had tightened and improved since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus 6 years ago.
“He [Sidath] was quite impressed to see the security arrangements, crowd and enthusiasm,” Khan was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au 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 also hopes to revive cricketing ties with India, and said that the two teams would play against each other but has never indicated that Pakistan would be hosting India.
“It is just a speculation that we will rather go to India to play our home series. We haven’t received any such proposal.”
Irrespective of what happens in the future, Khan was pleased with the Zimbabwe tour.
“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.
Pakistan paid $12,000 to each Zimbabwe player who toured Pakistan for the series, but Khan clearly stated that it was a one-off deal.
“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.
The series was very successful and was a treat for the cricket fans in Pakistan who missed cricket in their country for 6 years and we all could see what it meant to them.