After a successful Pakistan Super League final, the International Cricket Council is planning to send a World XI for a four-match Twenty20 series in Lahore in September. According to an exclusive report on The Guardian, the four-match series is slated to be called Independence Cup to mark the 70th year of Pakistan’s independence.
The report says the overseas team will assemble in Dubai on September 17 before flying to Lahore for four matches on the 22nd, 23rd, 28th and 29th. The series will follow a security plan similar to the PSL final, the rehearsals for which were supervised by an ICC delegation that included the England and Wales Cricket Board security director Reg Dickason.
The series is an attempt to build on the successful hosting of the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore on Sunday. Test teams have refused to tour Pakistan after the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus but there has been a concerted effort to get the nation back on the international cricket map.
A special ICC task force headed by ECB president Giles Clarke had visited Pakistan in January to take stock of the security situation. “The desire is to give the cricket-starved Pakistani supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action,” Clarke was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“The world of cricket needs to help Pakistan, who cannot continue to play their home fixtures overseas. The youth need inspiring, and the national teams need far more cricket played in familiar terrain. Furthermore, the terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan.”