Islamabad United coach and former Australian cricketer Dean Jones says he is very happy to learn that a World XI team and the Sri Lankan side will tour Pakistan this year, and has stated that he is ready to visit Pakistan as a commentator for the series.
“I felt so happy after hearing the news of Sri Lankan team’s tour to Pakistan. I am ready to visit Lahore again as a commentator if Sri Lanka comes to play T20 [matches there]. It will be a great moment,” he told DawnNews in a Twitter exchange.
Jones said the success of the World XI team tour and that of the Sri Lankan team could lead to the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
“These two team tours are very important for Pakistan cricket. I am hopeful that if all goes well, it will open the door for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and it will be a great boost for Pakistan cricket after the Champions Trophy triumph.”
Sri Lanka’s cricket board earlier this week approved a tour to Pakistan, eight years after a deadly militant attack on the team obliterated hopes of top international games in the country.
Sri Lankan cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said that after a security assessment, the team had been cleared to play three Twenty20 internationals, including “at least one” in Lahore — the scene of the 2009 attack which left eight people dead.
Since 2009, the only international team to visit Pakistan is Zimbabwe, who played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. Pakistan play their “home” internationals in the United Arab Emirates.
But there were hopeful signs when Pakistan successfully staged the final of the Pakistan Super League — the rest of which was played in UAE ─ under heavy security in March.