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Pakistan hope Faysal Bank T-20 success can signal return of international cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 19, 2010

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Fawad Alam, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul and Tanvir Ahmed run during a practice session, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, October 18, 2010
Pakistan have been forced to play all their international fixtures outside of the country since March 2009 © AFP
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The PCB is considering sending footage of the recently-concluded Faysal Bank Twenty20 tournament to the ICC as part of continuing efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan.

The week-long tournament, held in Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium and won last weekend by the Lahore Lions, attracted huge crowds through its duration. Entry was free for spectators and as a result, evening games - including the final - were played out to capacity crowds.

The Twenty20 has always drawn big crowds and during last season's event, at Karachi's National Stadium, spectators were being turned away from the final because there was no space left. But board officials are particularly happy with this season's event, and that it went off without a hitch.

There was greater security in place, including the presence of over 1100 police and security officials, as well as 14 CCTV cameras and four crowded surveillance cameras among a number of other measures.

"The event proved once again just how much passion and enthusiasm there is for the game in Pakistan," board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told ESPNcricinfo. "The ground was full for most matches, the quality of cricket was high, the arrangements ensured the tournament was a great success."

Though it is only under consideration at the moment, it is likely any footage - the tournament was broadcast on a local sports channel - would be sent to the ICC's task force on Pakistan as well as relevant authorities within the ICC.

Bringing international cricket back to Pakistan is one of the main aspects of the work of the task force. No team has toured here since March 2009, after a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team in Lahore as they were on their way to Gaddafi Stadium. There has been talk within the task force recently of putting together an international XI to play in Pakistan, though no timeline has been set.

In any case, progress on that front has been hampered by the fallout in relations between the PCB and ICC, and the ECB, whose chairman Giles Clarke, heads the task force. After a recent ICC board meeting, the work of the force has been broadened, to include efforts to improve governance of the game in Pakistan.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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