Pakistan news April 2, 2012

British tour arrives in Pakistan

34

At a time when Pakistan is a no-go area for major international cricket, a team of university students, graduates and MCC playing members from the UK has arrived in Lahore for a series of charity matches.

Pakistan has been off limits for international cricket since an armed terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009.

Passion for cricket remains undimmed, though. A series of domestic T20 games staged in Rawalpindi recently drew packed houses of around 20,000, with a further 15,000 gathered outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of the action.

The PCB are desperate to bring international cricket back to the country. They have invited Bangladesh to play a limited-over series later this month, but it remains unclear whether the tour will go ahead. In the meantime, the PCB hope that by staging matches against international teams - even international teams as low-key as the current visitors loosely termed the 'British Universities' - that they will show that there is nothing to fear in touring Pakistan.

"Everything so far looks very good," Kemal Alam, captain of the touring party said. "When you see things from outside it's a completely different picture from what you see in the media. A lot of stuff is distorted and until you can actually come to a country and see it for yourself with your own eyes, you can never get a good picture of what's going on.

"This is the second tour that we have brought here in the last seven years from the British Universities and we are here as a charity team and also a goodwill gesture between Britain and Pakistan.

"Pakistan really needs cricket. Cricket is the most important thing in the country and it keeps everyone going. It's almost like taking the oxygen out of the country when you don't have international cricket."

The tourists will play one game 25-overs a side match against Aitchison College followed by two 50-over matches against a Pakistan under-19 side at the Gaddafi Stadium.

"We are trying our level best try to convince people - the national teams abroad - that this place is safe," Intikhab Alam, the PCB's director of international cricket, told Intikhab the tourists. "I'm sure when you play here and you meet the people, that you will get the idea that things are not that bad."

It also emerged last week that the PCB are in talks with Kent-based club Lashings about a prospective tour. Since the 2009 attack Afghanistan, who played against the Pakistan A side, and Hong Kong, who had a training camp ahead of the World T20 qualifiers in the UAE, are the only international sides to visit Pakistan.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CriticallyCricket on April 4, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    You have to give credit to the Brits as they have helpes Pak out a few times recently, despite historic rivalray.

    The MCC organised the Australia & Pakistan matches in 2010.............The ECB Chairman Giles Clark heading a committee to bring back cricket to PAK...and now this.........................BCCI should take a lesson from this that Rivalries continue but we must maintain our focus on the larger picture that being that PAK is good for World Cricket Internationally and at Domestic level in various countries...................

  • on April 4, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    PTV Sports channel will broadcast British University Charity XI vs Pakistan U19 team match from Gaddafi Stadium.

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    we are looking forward to big teams

  • on April 3, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Good for PAK cricket wicket keeping issue of Pak is looking to be solved by seeing the talent of Sialkot wicket keeper batsman Shakeel Ansar he seems to be highly talented !

  • on April 3, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    This is very good news, every Pakisitani cricket support is thrilled by this exciting news... I often think that Lankan team attack is only incident of its kind, this kind of attack on touring team has not happened in the past and will not happen in the future

  • on April 3, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    i think its good news for pakistan cricket that some one tour pakistan i hope inshallah in future international cricket should be played in pakistan i am thankful to Mr zaka ashraf and their team member for putting more efforts towards cricket not only international cricket but i hope inshALLAH in future pakistan priemer league shuold be played and other team member come in pakistan and play ppl i love my country pakistan and i love my cricket team .

  • Asif_Iqbal on April 3, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Why Intikhab Alam always in the PCB as manger,coach,director ets.

  • on April 3, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    In order to re-establish international cricket in Pk, it will need an initial focus on "grass roots" cricket. This is why this tour and the proposed Lashings tour are a good idea, to demonstrate to international teams that it is safe to tour. Then in stepwise progression the weaker international teams should tour (Bd, Zim, Afghan, Ire), followed by the "big fish".

  • ssshafqat on April 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Great news! May the tour go off without a hitch and may it herald a return of peaceful international cricket in Pakistan. Kudos to the touring teams -- Afghanistan, Hong Kong, 'British Universities', MCC -- for taking this important step. Much appreciated by this staunch Pakistani cricket supporter :) Yes, Pakistan needs many more such ventures of sports and cultural exchanges otherwise it gets further isolated and more easily entrenched in the forces (extremists) who do not want to nurture such positive and productive international and bi-national exchanges.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 3, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Pakistani,s love cricket and soon international cricket will be back in pakistan. I hope you guys enjoys there. atleast weather is nice there as its quite cold here this week in uk.

  • CriticallyCricket on April 4, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    You have to give credit to the Brits as they have helpes Pak out a few times recently, despite historic rivalray.

    The MCC organised the Australia & Pakistan matches in 2010.............The ECB Chairman Giles Clark heading a committee to bring back cricket to PAK...and now this.........................BCCI should take a lesson from this that Rivalries continue but we must maintain our focus on the larger picture that being that PAK is good for World Cricket Internationally and at Domestic level in various countries...................

  • on April 4, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    PTV Sports channel will broadcast British University Charity XI vs Pakistan U19 team match from Gaddafi Stadium.

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    we are looking forward to big teams

  • on April 3, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Good for PAK cricket wicket keeping issue of Pak is looking to be solved by seeing the talent of Sialkot wicket keeper batsman Shakeel Ansar he seems to be highly talented !

  • on April 3, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    This is very good news, every Pakisitani cricket support is thrilled by this exciting news... I often think that Lankan team attack is only incident of its kind, this kind of attack on touring team has not happened in the past and will not happen in the future

  • on April 3, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    i think its good news for pakistan cricket that some one tour pakistan i hope inshallah in future international cricket should be played in pakistan i am thankful to Mr zaka ashraf and their team member for putting more efforts towards cricket not only international cricket but i hope inshALLAH in future pakistan priemer league shuold be played and other team member come in pakistan and play ppl i love my country pakistan and i love my cricket team .

  • Asif_Iqbal on April 3, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Why Intikhab Alam always in the PCB as manger,coach,director ets.

  • on April 3, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    In order to re-establish international cricket in Pk, it will need an initial focus on "grass roots" cricket. This is why this tour and the proposed Lashings tour are a good idea, to demonstrate to international teams that it is safe to tour. Then in stepwise progression the weaker international teams should tour (Bd, Zim, Afghan, Ire), followed by the "big fish".

  • ssshafqat on April 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Great news! May the tour go off without a hitch and may it herald a return of peaceful international cricket in Pakistan. Kudos to the touring teams -- Afghanistan, Hong Kong, 'British Universities', MCC -- for taking this important step. Much appreciated by this staunch Pakistani cricket supporter :) Yes, Pakistan needs many more such ventures of sports and cultural exchanges otherwise it gets further isolated and more easily entrenched in the forces (extremists) who do not want to nurture such positive and productive international and bi-national exchanges.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 3, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Pakistani,s love cricket and soon international cricket will be back in pakistan. I hope you guys enjoys there. atleast weather is nice there as its quite cold here this week in uk.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 3, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Good to see some news about pakistan on cricinfo. beacause last week we didnt even see a single picture of such a successfull packed house domestic T20 tournament in pakistan. anyways very welcome and thanks to british universty teams in pakistan.

  • frozendilemma on April 3, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    this whole tour seems so funny to me...

  • on April 3, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    ptv sports will be showing all the matches live and I think the schedule is available at the pakistan team page on this website !!!!!!!

  • Nutcutlet on April 3, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    Once again some unsung heroes venture into places more high-profile teams dare not go! In these days when Pakistan is starved of sporting & cultural links from distant places, I am sure that the "British Universities' " presence is especially welcome and that they will receive generous & warmed-hearted hospitality. Such ventures, provided that they are well organised and security is a given, can do nothing but good. Well done to all those who are responsible for the arrangement of this tour - in Pakistan as well as in England. (Btw -Warm regards to Inti from a Surrey supporter. Great guy!)

  • AliRiaz52 on April 3, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    That good News for Pakistan Cricket .......Mr. Intikhab Alam is Right Things are not that Bad in Pakistan as its looks from Out side The Idea of Board to Arrange its own League its greate ...Pakistan should go for Pakistan Priemer League ........I wish all goes well for Pakistan and for the People of Pakistan

  • Mr__J on April 3, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Please someone provide the schedule for these matches, so that we can go to support both teams ...

  • on April 3, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    Great Great news for Pakistan. It is the result of very brave efforts made by the Chairman PCB Zaka Ashraf. He borrow the world that Pakistan is a safe place to play Wish you best of luck in future PCB.

  • saadi_cricket_lover on April 3, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    OK, best of luck to British team.

  • on April 3, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    I think, BD should go to the tour in Pak. In respect of cricket they always came to help us.

  • on April 3, 2012, 2:30 GMT

    I hope this tour is a big success and opens gates for other teams to tour Pakistan. Hopefully, the games will attract huge attendance even the one against Aitchison. Go aitchisonians!

  • yorkshirematt on April 2, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Good to hear. Hope these brits can play spin a bit more effectively too then they might be getting a call from a Mr Flower before the India series

  • pak78 on April 2, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    exellent news, hope one day international cricket will come back to pakistan.

  • umairasgharbutt on April 2, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    thank you bravos !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dilbar786 on April 2, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    WOW!!! Thanks alot English boys..you are the real men!!!

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    British tour arrives in Pakistan

  • Desihungama on April 2, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    All credit goes to Rashid Latif for pursuing this and the University team to actually visit despite critism received from not too unknown forces we all very know who they are. Go Aitchision.

  • on April 2, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Big Big Thanks to British Universities for showing great courage and coming to Pakistan.

  • Chicken-Salad on April 2, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Wohooo Caymon Aitchison College..You the <3

  • xylo on April 2, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    This is good. I would have hoped India and Sri Lanka to send a combined XI to play in Pakistan, but that does not seem to happening.

  • on April 2, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Well i feel that when Bangladesh showed their interest of playing in Pakistan which was a great decision, but that decision was not a good sign for BCCI, so they pushed bangladesh to challenge the Asia Cup Final result in ACC & in ICC, because they knew it this is gonna create some panic between PCB & BCB and eventually the matches in Pakistan between Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be played, So Fool the Bangladesh Cricket Board is that they think even once and did all that was said by BCCI

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    now pakistan government and pcb plz plz give them foolproof security, we can't afford ano

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Bangladesh what are u waiting for now? I think this is enough to prove. English people come to Pakistan to play cricket. ICC should allow teams and intternational Officials to come in Pakistan, also Include Sialkot and Karachi teams in Champions Leauge. Sialkot team is 6 times Champion. its really unfare for Pakistan to stay them out of that leauge.

  • on April 2, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Yeee cheeezzz \m/ Insha-ALLAH other International teams will come soon :)

  • drnaveed on April 2, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    well done British Universities. it appears that atleast you are not under influence of B.C.C.I.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • drnaveed on April 2, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    well done British Universities. it appears that atleast you are not under influence of B.C.C.I.

  • on April 2, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Yeee cheeezzz \m/ Insha-ALLAH other International teams will come soon :)

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Bangladesh what are u waiting for now? I think this is enough to prove. English people come to Pakistan to play cricket. ICC should allow teams and intternational Officials to come in Pakistan, also Include Sialkot and Karachi teams in Champions Leauge. Sialkot team is 6 times Champion. its really unfare for Pakistan to stay them out of that leauge.

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    now pakistan government and pcb plz plz give them foolproof security, we can't afford ano

  • on April 2, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Well i feel that when Bangladesh showed their interest of playing in Pakistan which was a great decision, but that decision was not a good sign for BCCI, so they pushed bangladesh to challenge the Asia Cup Final result in ACC & in ICC, because they knew it this is gonna create some panic between PCB & BCB and eventually the matches in Pakistan between Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be played, So Fool the Bangladesh Cricket Board is that they think even once and did all that was said by BCCI

  • xylo on April 2, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    This is good. I would have hoped India and Sri Lanka to send a combined XI to play in Pakistan, but that does not seem to happening.

  • Chicken-Salad on April 2, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Wohooo Caymon Aitchison College..You the <3

  • on April 2, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Big Big Thanks to British Universities for showing great courage and coming to Pakistan.

  • Desihungama on April 2, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    All credit goes to Rashid Latif for pursuing this and the University team to actually visit despite critism received from not too unknown forces we all very know who they are. Go Aitchision.

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    British tour arrives in Pakistan