World XI team to tour Pak for T20 series in Sept., confirms Najam Sethi

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar.7 (ANI): In the wake of a successful Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been planning to send World XI to Pakistan for a four-match Twenty20 series later this year.

According to the report in the Guardian, the four-match series at the Gaddafi Stadium-- to be known as The Independence Cup in order to mark the 70th anniversary of partition--is intended to continue the revival of top-level cricket to the country after nearly a gap of eight years.

The team which will visit Pakistan is expected to assemble in Dubai on September 17 before they will head to Lahore for four matches on September 22, 23, 28 and 29.

Confirming the news, PSL chairman Najam Sethi also said that the international cricket would be returning to Pakistan, however, adding that the details regarding the series are tentative.

Najam also announced the decision via his Twitter account, saying that the PSL final in Lahore amid tight security has opened the door for international cricket in Pakistan.

Speaking to the Dawn, Sethi also said that although the ICC's latest decision was `spot on`, the number of matches in the series and the dates are subject to change.

He further revealed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are in constant touch with the other cricket boards across the world to hold more series in the country in the coming years.

"I can't reveal more details at the moment but we are in touch with boards of other countries and we will inform [the public] soon," the Dawn quoted Najam as saying.

"The decision to hold the international Twenty20 series was dependent on the success of PSL final, which is why we chose not to make the development public," he added of PSL final, which Peshawar Zalmi went on to win by beating Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs.

Earlier, there were doubts whether the PCB would hold the PSL final in Lahore following the February 13 suicide bombing in which 13 people were killed.

However, in a meeting held earlier this month between the PSL management and the five franchise owners in Dubai, it was decided the summit clash of the tournament would be held at the PCB headquarters on March 5 as per schedule.

Later, the Punjab government also gave its go-ahead for the final to take place in Lahore following thorough consideration and evaluation of security conditions in the country after a series of bomb blasts in the preceding weeks.

Meanwhile, in order to avoid any untoward incident at Sunday's PSL final at the Gaddafi Stadium, unrivalled security arrangements were put in place by the Pakistan Government.

In order to meet any medical emergency, a temporary 25-bed hospital was also set up at the National Hockey Stadium, adjacent to Gaddafi Stadium.

A five-layer security was arranged to look after the two domestic teams, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.

It should be noted that this was the first match hosted by Pakistan since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009,when six Pakistani policemen were killed and some of the visiting players were injured. (ANI)