As Lahore– Pakistan Punjab’s capital city, is set to host the World XI T20 cricket tournament, politicians in the rest of the country have questioned why matches haven’t been scheduled in other provincial cities.
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah has disapproved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi’s attitude in this regard, Express News reports.
Talking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, the provincial minister said that despite written requests to the PCB by the Sindh government, no matches were scheduled in Karachi — Pakistan’s financial capital and its largest city which once hosted major international cricket and other sports tournaments.
Shah said if international wrestlers could come to Karachi, there was no reason cricketers couldn’t play in the country’s mega city and Sindh’s capital.
Sethi while unveiling the logo of ‘Independence Cup 2017’ for World XI T20I series last week said the cricket board is working hard to hold international matches in Karachi in the near future as well.
Earlier last month, when asked why all matches will be played in Lahore, Sethi clarified: “No team is ready to play anywhere else other than Lahore.”
The rationale behind this decision he said stems from the successful organization of 2017 Pakistan Super League final in Lahore. Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan in 2015 was also hosted by Lahore, which laid the basis of a security case study used to attract international teams.
However, Sethi said that he wants international cricket to return to Karachi too.
“I will meet DG Rangers, Core Commander and CM Sindh when I visit Karachi [to discuss the security arrangements if the city is to host international matches],” said Sethi. “We will make sure international cricket returns to Pakistan soon. We have started receiving positive answers from teams.”
The World XI, which will play three T20Is from Tuesday, arrived in Lahore Sunday with air surveillance and dozens of police vans in attendance.
Pakistan has not hosted top-level international cricket — barring five limited over matches against minnows Zimbabwe in 2015 since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.
In March the finals of Pakistan Super League cricket was successfully hosted in Lahore without any security lapses.
In a related note, one T20I match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan– part of the upcoming UAE series to be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, will be played in Lahore “subject to security clearance”, said a PCB release.