First step towards revival of cricket as British Universities take on PCB XI in Lahore – Cricket News Update
A foreign team played on Pakistani pitches after a period of roughly 4 years as the touring British Universities team took on the Pakistan Cricket Board Under 19s XI in a one-day match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on April 4.
International cricket in the country came to an abrupt halt after militants opened fire on the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, en route to the Gaddafi Stadium where the visitors were due to play their second Test against Pakistan.
With eight people killed and seven touring players and the assistant coach injured, the security situation in Pakistan afterwards was deemed too unsafe for foreign teams to consider the possibility of a tour.
PCB chief Zaka Ashraf, since taking over for Ijaz Butt late last year, made the resumption of international cricket in the country among his top priorities, and efforts to bring about a revival included talks with the Indian and Bangladeshi boards, both
of which came to nothing.
However, a team comprising British university students, and MCC playing members recently arrived in Pakistan for a series of matches against an under-19 side, marking a compromised end to the deadlock.
“It's a great development that some foreign players, no matter University players, have played a cricket match at Gaddafi Stadium and it will give them a positive picture about Pakistan,” Intikhab Alam, PCB director, told
“I am sure that when these boys go back home they will tell some positive things about Pakistan and not what is portrayed in the media,” he added.
While the match carried a great deal of significance in this regard, the competition was fairly one-sided, with the PCB XI breezing to an easy victory. They raked up an impressive 388 at the expense of just 2 wickets in 50 overs, courtesy some stellar knocks
by Sami Aslam (207) and Umar Waheed (100), both of whom remained not-out.
In reply, the British University XI was only able to make a paltry 86 before they were all bowled out by the 27th over.
The next match between the two teams is scheduled for April 6 at the same venue.