The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday that former West Indies skipper Richie Richardson had been appointed as ICC match referee for the upcoming visit of the World XI.
This is the first time since 2009 that an ICC match official has been appointed for any cricket match in Pakistan.
The country has faced a dearth of international cricket in its own backyard ever since the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.
Zimbabwe had toured Pakistan in 2015 but even then the PCB only used local officials and umpires in the absence of support from the ICC.
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) August 29, 2017
With the ICC now making a big push to normalise international cricket again in Pakistan, the visit of the World XI, led by South African star Faf du Plessis, will go a long way in convincing other international teams to consider touring Pakistan again.
The ICC had previously signed a three-year deal with an international firm to review the security framework in the country on an annual basis.
The World XI will play a three-match T20 series against the hosts in Lahore, beginning from September 12.
The ICC had announced the 14-man squad, which also includes Hashim Amla and George Bailey for the historic visit, in a press release on Saturday.
The team, coached by former Zimbabwe stalwart Andy Flower, will undergo a two-day training camp in Dubai before arriving in Lahore on September 11.
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) August 25, 2017
The PCB has also announced the 16-man squad for the World XI’s visit and there was a surprise omission for veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.
All the three clashes will take place in the Gaddafi Stadium with the final match being played on September 15.
A successful series could pave the way for international teams touring Pakistan again and things already look like they are heading in the right direction for the PCB.
Cricket West Indies had announced that it will be visiting Pakistan for a T20 series later this November while Sri Lanka Cricket has also agreed a deal in principle to play at least one of the T20 clashes in the hosts’ own backyard during the upcoming series between the two sides to be played in the UAE.
Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy.
Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umer Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Amir Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Shinwari, Sohail Khan.
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