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Many of us remember that the Final of PSL Season 2 which was played in Pakistan was the time of the revival of cricket and international players but the real star who played a crucial role in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan was Dr. Asghar Ali Shah and Chairman Zaka Ashraf when the International World XI came to Karachi and played the A.O Trophy in 2012.
Players like Sanath Jayasuriya (SL), Mohammad Shahzad (AFG), Shapoor Zadran (AFG), Steven Taylor (USA), Ricardo Powell (WI) and Andre Nel (RSA) were part of that series which was played after the attack on the soil of Pakistan.
International Cricket in Pakistan stopped, What went wrong since 2009?
This sort of attack has never happened in the history of any cricket playing nation, the teams used to come, stay at the hotel and play cricket according to the schedule. On 3rd March 2009, the team left the hotel as per the schedule with the security with only two conveys of Police car and the team bus, when they were close to the stadium the attack happened, there was no loss of life but around seven to eight players were injured. The hero Mehar Mohammad Khalil who saved the players and somehow entered the stadium.
What Imran Khan (Former Captain) has to say on the security issue:
First international team to visit Pakistan.
After a gap of almost 6 years, Zimbabwe was the first international team to visit Pakistan and played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs.
Big names from Zimbabwe such as Elton Chigumbura, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine, Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams were part of the series who made it possible for the crazy cricket fans in Pakistan to witness their heroes play in front of them.
Players like Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim and Yasir Shah played for the first time in the grounds of Pakistan in front of the fans.
The visit of Zimbabwe opened a door and hope for more international cricket in Pakistan.
Officials and Ambassadors behind the success.
There were a lot of people from PCB and from the top level of government who played their vital role in sending a positive images of Pakistan and how safe it has become after the attack of Sri Lanka, their were quite many of them, but major ones are:
- Dr. Asghar Ali Shah (Founder A.O Clinic)
As we read above, Dr. Asghar Ali Shah along with PCB former Chairman Mr. Zaka Ashraf organised a 2 match series in Pakistan which gave hope for international matches in Pakistan.
- Najam Sethi (Ex-Chairman of PCB & Founder of PSL)
After the first ever PSL Season 1 which was completely played in UAE, the efforts by Mr. Najam Sethi and the team behind PSL brough the final of season 2 on the home soil, which was later played in Lahore.
- Wasim Khan (Ex-CEO of PCB)
The man behind all the coordination with all the cricketing boards, committees, ICC and governments, Mr. Wasim Khan has played his vital role in bringing many teams such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies and South Africa to play cricket in Pakistan.
- Former Players
Former players such as Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and many others have displayed positive pictures in front of teams and players and motivated them through their commentaries, coaching and mentorship to play cricket here in Pakistan.
- Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy who has been the ambassador of Pakistan all over the world who has spread the image of Pakistan in such a manner that through his actions many players from England, Australia, South Africa and West Indies were attracted and took interest to play cricket here in Pakistan. Many players like Chris Gayle (WI), Rillee Rossouw (RSA), Ben Dunk (Aus), James Faulkner (AUS), Ben Cutting (AUS), Chris Jordan (ENG), Jason Roy (ENG) and many players came to Pakistan and they played in Pakistan Super League.
- Electronic Media
The technology has played its role as well, the fans who were eager to watch cricket in Pakistan have portrayed Pakistan’s images in such a way that the international players have come and played cricket here and loved the hospitality and the support from the fans in Pakistan.
Is Pakistan safe now to Play cricket?
Over the past few years, after a successful campaign and host of back to back PSL seasons in Pakistan with proper arrangements from top to bottom with from hospitality, transport, security and love and support from the fans have sent a clear picture to all the cricketing boards, teams and players that Pakistan is a safe country to play cricket.
What foreign commentators/players have to say about on the arrangements for the cricket in Pakistan by the management:
What to expect in Future?
In March 2022, Australia team is due to arrive in Pakistan and will play a full series in 3 cities of the country, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Followed by England and New Zealand to tour Pakistan in the later part of the year.
In 2025, Pakistan will host the Champions Trophy, its first-ever ICC tournament after the World Cup 1992. Teams like India, England, South Africa, Australia, West Indies and Bangladesh will be visiting Pakistan and will play the tournament in front of the crazy cricket fans which will raise a green flag amongst the cricketing playing nations.