Cricket stars from seven Test-playing nations will be part of a World XI that will tour Pakistan next month for three Twenty20 Internationals with South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis at helm. If the World XI tour goes off without problems, Pakistan hope Sri Lanka will also play a Twenty20 in Lahore in October - a match which will be hugely symbolic for the return of global cricket - followed by a three-match Twenty20 series against West Indies in November.
"This tour is not only important for cricket in Pakistan but also for worldwide cricket since it opens the possibility of other teams, media and sponsors visiting Pakistan for bilateral series", said Clarke. Indian players are only allowed to play against Pakistan in ICC tournaments - World Cup, World T20, Champions Trophy. "It's something they've been starved off in recent years".
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Since then only Zimbabwe visited Lahore in May 2015 to play a short limited over series but that was not supported by the ICC which did not send any of its umpires or match referees to supervise the series. I can assure all Pakistan cricket fans that we have missed playing in front of them, like they have missed watching us live in action. And I also played cricket with Mohammad Akram and coached with him at Peshawar Zalmi. "I hope this series will be successful and encourage more global teams to come touring".
But security has improved dramatically in recent years, giving fans hope that global cricket could finally return, a massive boost in a country where the game is far and away its most popular sport. But this wait is about to end and I am sure better times lie ahead of all of us. "My generation of cricketers was able to make a name for itself because we played regularly at home, which helped us understand and realise what it means to the public". According to the reports in the newspapers, cricket enthusiasts will be seeing couple of foreign teams visiting Pakistan one after the other during next couple of months and these positive indications are, in all fairness, mainly due to improved law and order situation in the country and concerted efforts by the Pakistan Cricket Board bosses. Led by du Plessis, the team will play three T20Is in Lahore on September 12, 13, and 15 respectively. "I think we all owe a big thanks to these worldwide cricketers, the global cricket community, the ICC and the PCB for taking this positive step". I think a fit team is a key to success and we should persist with this. "And I also believe they will be surprised and pleased by the reception they get from the Pakistani people", he added.
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