Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said that the arrival of the Sri Lankan cricket team in Karachi is a major move towards reviving international cricket in the country.
Mani was present at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the unveiling of the Pakistan and Sri Lanka series logo, where he praised the islanders.
Regardless of the 2009 terrorist attack they have come and it is a big step for Pakistan cricketMani said
Mani also said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka share a special bond as the two cricket nations helped each other during turbulent times in the past. Recalling Sri Lanka’s rising political tension, Pakistan had sent the junior team to tour, regardless of security concerns.
“The world should know that Pakistan is a secure country and that Sri Lanka’s tour would prove that,” he said.
Mani hailed the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as the saving grace of international cricket and said that foreign players who took part in PSL expressed their satisfaction in security arrangements.
“Players who took part in PSL were happy with the security arrangements. It shows that we are no less than anyone else and our armed forces, police and agencies have played a major part in it’s [cricket’s] restoration,” he said.
Pakistan will welcome those who want to come
Speaking in terms of reviving international cricket in Pakistan, Mani expressed no interest in approaching India and said that he would not “chase” after them.
“I will not chase BCCI, whoever wants to come to Pakistan will be welcomed,” he said.
“I would like to see Pakistan grow and would rather not approach India as I do not sense any interest from their side and I think that cricket and politics should remain two separate entities.”
He also expressed that granting players financial rewards to play in Pakistan was not the way to get around to reviving the sport.
The Chairman hopes for a full house in Lahore and Karachi and urged fans to show their support for their teams as the first of the three ODIs are set to begin this Friday.