Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chief of army General Raheel Sharif to watch the T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe at the Gaddafi stadium on Friday.
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters today that he was hopeful that a number of dignitaries would attend the match on Friday, which would be the first proper international on Pakistan soil against a Test side in six years. We have sent out invitations to the Prime Minister and the Army chief as their presence would boost Pakistan cricket on this historical occasion, he added.
Shaharyar said that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and several other former Test captains had been specially invited for the matches. We want to make this a memorable occasion and we need support of our former greats. The PCB chief said that Imran, who now heads the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party had been invited as he remained a cricket legend.
Shaharyar confirmed that the board had taken out insurance of both teams and also the Gaddafi stadium as part of the security measures. We have also sent out invites to the other boards and the ICC and we have got confirmation that Sri Lankan cricket chief Siddarth Wettimuny will be coming to Lahore while we are also
expecting ICC chief executive Dave Richardson.
Shaharyar said that the board is hoping that the dignitaries turn up for the first or the second and final game on Sunday. Shaharyar said other boards including India would notify the PCB of their plans soon. Zimbabwe is the first Test team to tour Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in March, 2009 in Lahore.
Shaharyar said he wanted the officials of other boards and the ICC to come and see for themselves in Lahore the arrangements made by the PCB and government for the series. Hopefully this will give them confidence and we can host more Test teams in future. The ICC refused to send its match officials for the series on security grounds.