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Dec 19, 2011 at 07:19pm IST

PCB chief expects Ban to tour Pak

Islamabad: A top Pakistan Cricket Board official was confident on Monday of bringing back international cricket to the country next year after an absence of three years.

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf has invited Bangladesh to play "few international matches" in Pakistan in April 2012 and has promised to provide comprehensive security for the visitors.

Pakistan have not hosted international cricket since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, killing six police officials and a driver.

PCB chief expects Ban to tour Pak

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf has invited Bangladesh to play "few international matches" in Pakistan in April 2012.

"It's like breaking the ice," Ashraf said about the proposed tour of Pakistan. "Security is the major issue of all the international teams since what happened in Lahore."

The Bangladesh itinerary for 2012 is yet to be finalized.

Ashraf said a security team from Bangladesh will tour Pakistan next month and will hold meetings with officials.

"They will be meeting with top security officials of our government and I am confident that international cricket will be revived in Pakistan," Ashraf said.

"I hope we will be able to provide them (security officials) a level of comfort zone so that they have no security fears."

The PCB chief met with Bangladesh Cricket Board president Mustafa Kamal during the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Singapore last week. He also briefed other BCB officials in Bangladesh.

"It was like one and a half hour meeting in Bangladesh and we briefed the BCB officials about the proposed tour in detail," he said.

Since the March 2009 attack, the PCB has been forced to play its home matches abroad - mainly in the United Arab Emirates - but Ashraf is hopeful that Bangladesh's visit will reduce other teams' security concerns.

"We want to remove this security fear," he said. "I am not concerned about how many matches Bangladesh play in Pakistan, what's important for me is that international cricket will return to Pakistan.

"Even if they (Bangladesh) play two or three matches, it will send positive signals to the cricketing community around the world."

Pakistan are currently touring Bangladesh and are scheduled to play their home series against England in the UAE next month.

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