LAHORE: Following the successful conclusion of the Independence Cup series between Pakistan and World XI in Lahore, the International Cricket Council (ICC) aims to continue supporting cricket in Pakistan.
The ICC provided and funded security resources for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the three-match series, which Pakistan won 2-1, and ICC’s head of media and communication, Sami ul Hassan, says that ICC will continue to contribute towards the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
“The best way ICC could actually contribute or support the PCB, was in terms of security. A well-thought decision was made by the ICC board that we should support Pakistan by providing them the resources and get the services of the best security company,” Sami ul Hassan told Geo.tv at the conclusion of the series.
“ICC has not stayed away on providing resources or funds, the ICC sent its match officials for the series, the chairman of the task force was also in Pakistan, the ICC CEO was here and ICC Director Dave Cameron was also in Pakistan. ICC has been supportive and it will continue its support where it can,” he added.
Terming the series as a fantastic and memorable one, the ICC media head added that the players of the World XI squad were overwhelmed with the response they received in Pakistan during the tour.
“They were just delighted to be here, they were happy to be part of this series and happy to be part of the revival of international cricket because everyone realises that world cricket needs a very strong Pakistan team,” he said.
“It’s a combination of everyone. The PCB needs all the appreciation, all the law enforcing agencies who were involved deserve praise, players who took on the challenge of coming here and playing cricket deserve special mention. I think when they’ll go back, they will have good memories, fond memories, which are going to stay with them for a very long time,” added Sami, who is also a senior journalist.
When asked if Pakistan has managed to show that they’re capable of hosting international events safely and securely, the ICC spokesman replied, “Absolutely”.
Sami further said that the level of confidence has increased significantly in the last few years, but added that the complete return of international cricket in Pakistan is going to be a gradual and slow process.
“We need to understand that this is a slow gradual process, things will not change overnight. It will take its natural course, but if we continue to have series such as these, teams continue to tour and everyone goes home happy then there is no reason why cricket can’t be a regular feature in this part of the world,” added Sami.