Ashraf confident Pakistan will host visitors in 2012

Ashraf confident Pakistan will host visitors in 2012Lahore, Nov 29 - Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) newly-appointed chairman Zaka Ashraf is confident of hosting international cricket teams in the strife-torn country and hoped neighbours India to tour soon as well.

Ashraf hopes that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan next year. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 made Pakistan a no-go zone for international teams due to security issues. The attack claimed six Pakistani policemen and a van driver.

"I am looking forward to seeing the revival of international cricket in Pakistan in 2012. India till recently had reservations about touring Pakistan due to the conditions. But I would like to see the Indians respond in a positive manner to our offer. We would also like to see the Indians in Pakistan at some stage," Ashraf was quoted as saying by the Jang daily.

Next month, Ashraf will be visiting both India and Bangladesh to discuss resumption of bilateral cricket ties and future tours.

"Bringing back international cricket to Pakistan remains one of my main priorities. It is good that our team is presently doing well and producing positive results, but it is equally important that they play at home in front of their people and supporters," he said.

Ashraf also denied reports that the PCB and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) were trying to nominate a joint candidate for the ICC vice-president's post.

"If we are allowing Bangladesh to nominate their candidate, it is because they deserve this. Right since 2003 they supported our candidate, Ehsan Mani (former ICC president), for the key ICC position. There is no deal involved in this," Ashraf said.

Ashraf also said that PCB will soon set up a security unit, on the lines of International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

"We are willing to work very closely with the ICC on security matters to satisfy them. We are willing to assure foolproof security for visiting teams," he added.(IANS)



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