World XI, SL, WI visiting Pakistan good omen: Sarfraz

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LAHORE: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has welcomed the announcement about the resumption of international cricket in the country, terming the development is good news for home fans.

“It is good news that the World XI will be visiting Pakistan next month [for three T20 matches]. Similarly, arrival of Sri Lankan team [in October] and then that of West Indies [in November] are also important for Pakistan cricket and its fans,” Sarfraz said while talking to reporters here on Wednesday.

Revival of top-level international cricket in Pakistan — after a long gap of eight years — got a significant boost on Monday when PCB chai­rman Najam Sethi in a press conference revealed that Sri Lanka and West Indies boards had consented to send their national teams to Pakistan for T20 games on successful holding of the World XI matches.

“Our youngsters will get a golden chance to play international matches [against World XI, Sri Lanka and West Indies] before their home crowd which will definitely boost their morale and confidence level,” noted the 30-year-old captain who shot to prominence last June after he led Pakistan to a magnificent 180-run triumph against India in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval.

Pakistan have been forced to play their regular home series at neutral venues, mainly of the UAE, ever since the March 2009 lethal terror attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore after which top cricketing nations declined to tour the country citing security reasons.

Only lowly teams of Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Kenya have come to play in Pakistan during the last eight years.

“Prominent cricketers will be part of the World XI side coming to Pakistan. Therefore, I am expecting close competitions against them,” the Pakistan skipper said.




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