Former Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja has claimed that the tour by the World XI will help to ensure the return of regular international cricket in Pakistan. Ramiz Raja, who played in 57 Tests and 198 ODIs, also believes that with this move the development of cricket in Pakistan will not be left behind.
In his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Raja recalled the fateful day when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus and how it dealt a blow to the game of cricket in Pakistan. “With the passage of time, cricketing wilderness set in across the country. It affected the national psyche and perceptions about Pakistan as a safe country for cricket grew murky. But naturally, it gave way to an emotional and economic meltdown.”
However, hoping that the tour will open the gates for other countries, Raja said, “The tour by the World XI will hopefully lead to resumption of a regular international cricket calendar in Pakistan. Credit must go to the players and the ICC for braving perceptions and possible personal pleadings by family and friends to look at the larger picture. The larger picture being – you need us, we need you. That is the only essential for cricket to survive.”
“The tour by the Zimbabwe team in 2015 and the successful final of the PSL this year at Lahore were fledgling signs that the cricketing world was opening up to Pakistan again. The PSL exposed the international fraternity to the frustration and helplessness of the Pakistan players, especially the young apprentices, who were being wronged by a situation which was neither of their choice nor their making.”, he added and concluded by stating, “Pakistan cricket too will soon be reaping the benefits of its hard slog over the past eight years.”