Former President, Lahore City Cricket Association, Khawaja Nadeem Ahmed has said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s concerns are valid about foreign teams not visiting Pakistan owing to security threats and there is a dire need to restore international sports activities in Pakistan to enhance country’s image.
“Take the example of cricket which is the game of the masses and unites the people of Pakistan but unfortunately since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus no cricket team has visited Pakistan which is unfortunate for our cricket,” he told said here on Tuesday.
He said the Prime Minister’s concerns were authentic on sports arenas which give a deserted look in the absence of international teams . “All regional cricket bodies stand united to support the Prime Minister for brining back international cricket to Pakistan and we are ready to extend all out cooperation to the Pakistan Cricket Board in this regard”, he added.
He said the Prime Minister takes great interest in sports and his efforts are known to every one for the cause of sports, specially for cricket in the country. ” By pointing out that foreign teams are not visiting Pakistan, the Prime Minister has addressed a very important issue which was not given consideration in the past,” he added.
The former LCCA Chief said he had close interaction with former Pakistan cricket captains and a number of former test stars and with their cooperation he could ensure the visit of a World XI comprising former and current test players, provided the PCB backed the move.
“If such a high profile cricket team visits Pakistan in due course of time, I am optimistic it will help in motivating the cricket playing countries to send their teams to Pakistan which has been forced to play its home series at neutral venues to fulfill its international cricket obligations,” he said.
“The PM’s vision is very clear regarding restoration of sports events in Pakistan and it is hoped that under his dynamic leadership our sports arenas will have foreign teams in near future,” he asserted.
“The Prime Minister is known for his cricket diplomacy which he initiated in the past to improve Pak-India relations and it is hoped that through his positive measures the deadlock on bilateral cricket series between the two countries will be broken in the near future,” he added.