LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi on Friday announced that Karachi will host at least four matches in the next edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In an interview with ARY News, Sethi said that he and his team tried their best to convince the ICC to hold at least one World XI match in Karachi but “they (the security team) say you opened a window of opportunity for Lahore with PSL final now open the same for Karachi through PSL, we will come.”
The PCB chairman announced that at least six matches will be played in Lahore while Karachi will get four matches in the next edition of Twenty20 league.
Sethi explained that the Punjab government’s Safe City Project helped his cause as some British citizens are helping the provincial government with the project who also briefed the international security teams.
He added that after the World XI matches, the board will hand over the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to the Sindh government and a security company will be invited to oversee the arrangements which will pave way for at least four PSL matches in the port city.
He revealed that a sum of Rs1.5 billion has been released to renovate the cricket stadium in Karachi.
World XI series ‘a huge achievement for Pakistan’
Sethi termed the arrival of World XI team to the country “a huge achievement for Pakistan” adding that PCB invited security experts from six to seven countries to oversee the security and law and order situation themselves.
He added that the security reports from several countries were positive, and were sent to the International Cricket Council. “We told them that now a positive report is needed from the ICC which would be shared with rest of the countries.”
“The only way this was possible was to host a World XI series, which would have cricketers from around the world, and to send an international security company to oversee the arrangements. The ICC hired a security company which gave the green light for the series, and will revisit Pakistan to oversee the arrangements,” said Sethi.
PSL final opened ‘window of opportunities’
Sethi said the successful hosting of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore opened a window of opportunities and played a vital role to bring the World XI to the country.
He said when he was the appointed chairman, the patron said there were two main objectives – to revive international cricket in Pakistan and to have an improvement in cricket ranking.
“We never received a support from the media, but rather only criticism,” he said, but he was adamant by improving ranking, taking disciplinary action, and hosting the PSL.
He added that there are still a lot of hurdles for the World XI series and a number of people have opposed him but he “will write about them at a later stage”.