Pakistan won the series opener on Monday by 20 runs, spurred by a quick-fire 86 by batsman Babar Azam before holding off a star-studded World XI batting line-up led by South African captain Faf du Plessis.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi believes that the ongoing Independence Cup is the first step towards the resumption of global cricket in the country, which would eventually also help in gradually improving PCB's finances in future contests.
The game's governing body will pay $1.1 million over the next three years to two security firms - Reg Dickason as well as Nicholls Steyn and Associates - who will assist with security on tours to Pakistan. The PCB has been trying to have a series with India and it has taken up this issue with the ICC. On Tuesday evening, Sethi had told the Guardian that a series with a World XI had been "planned for every year for the three years".
Minnows Zimbabwe toured two years ago for limited overs matches but the series was not sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. "For now anyway it seems the BCCI, without the positive affirmation from their government, don't believe it is the time to play against Pakistan", ICC CEO David Richardson said on the sidelines of the second T20I of the Independence Cup between Pakistan and World XI in Lahore on Wednesday.
ICC official said Pakistan has enhanced its capabilities in security in past two years and successfully organised the final of the Pakistan Super League which proved the turning point for bringing back worldwide cricket to Pakistan.
As per the MoU between the two boards, PCB and BCCI were to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with four of them to be played in Pakistan comprising 14 Tests, 30 ODIs and 12 T20Is. West Indies, too, are due to play three T20s in Pakistan in November.
"This is an ice-breaking event". The PCB have filed a complaint under the ICC dispute resolution process which is a mechanism we have to deal with any disputes between member countries.
The return of high-profile cricket in Pakistan has primarily been accented towards the shorter formats. Before their final match both teams have a day-off.
Hosting a Test series remains, for now, a distant prospect, for there remain other priorities for the Pakistan board to attend to - such as moving outside of Lahore as a venue.
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