Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has started sending out invitations to the top officials of the ICC and its member boards including India to make the two-match series against Bangladesh a memorable occasion for Pakistan cricket.
"We are inviting the ICC President, Sharad Pawar, chief executive Haroon Lorgat and heads of the Test playing nations and some associate members for the matches in Lahore because it is a good chance for us to show the world that it is safe to play international cricket in Pakistan," PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf said.
He said that Bangladesh team's visit to Pakistan would be the first by a foreign team since 2009 and all efforts would be made to make it a diplomatic coup for Pakistan cricket and also turn the occasion into a carnival for cricket lovers and fans. "We know the importance and significance of the two matches. We want the top people of the international cricket community to be in Lahore and see for themselves how much the Pakistani people love their sport."
Ashraf also dismissed talk about security concerns being expressed by the Bangladesh.
Ashraf also dismissed talk about security concerns being expressed by the Bangladesh team coach, Stuart Law and others that it would be a risk playing international cricket in Pakistan. "Stuart Law has every right to his own opinion but I think there is a lot of negative propaganda about Pakistan in his statement. Many people talk about Pakistan cricket without being aware of the ground reality or situation.
"That is why we are inviting the top brass of the cricket world to Lahore so that they can see for themselves the ground reality about the security situation," he stated. Ashraf also made it clear that the PCB would have no issues if star Bangladeshi players decide not to tour the strife-torn nation.
"We are in constant touch with the Bangladesh officials and they have told us that until now all their leading players will be available for the tour. But that is their internal matter for us what is important is that the Bangladesh team will be playing in Pakistan."