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New PCB chief promises good news for Pakistan cricket

Bringing overseas teams to the country is a challenging but worthwhile goal, says Pakistan cricket boss.
Najam Sethi

Najam Sethi was unanimously elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday by the PCB’s new Board of Governors. Sethi took over from Shaharyar Khan who didn’t contest for the post at the end of his latest three-year tenure citing personal reasons.

Soon after being elected for a three-year term, Sethi promised to try and bring international cricket back to Pakistan after years of near isolation, saying that bringing overseas teams to Pakistan would be a challenging but worthwhile goal. “We need to show patience because it is related to the security situation in the country,” he added when speaking to reporters in Lahore.

Barring a limited-over series against Zimbabwe in 2015, Pakistan has not hosted overseas teams since a militant attack targeted the visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009. A number of non-Pakistani players, however, took part in the final of the Pakistan Super League 2017 final in Lahore earlier this month, and a tour by a World XI side has been slotted for next month.

“We hope to bring a World XI for a three-match Twenty20 series and the next two-three months will bring more good news,” said Sethi.

Sethi added that he would also attend an Asian Cricket Council meeting in Colombo on Saturday, where he hoped to persuade Sri Lanka to send its team to Pakistan for a bilateral tour after their exchanges later this year.

“We have invited Sri Lanka to play a few matches after their series with us and I will try to get a reply on that invitation,” said Sethi.

Pakistan is scheduled to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka in September-October, which will likely be held in the United Arab Emirates – Pakistan’s ‘home’ since 2009.

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