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Sri Lanka tour good omen for international cricket revival

ISLAMABAD: ‘Asian Bradman’ Zaheer Abbas on Monday welcomed the Sri Lankan cricket board’s clearance to tour Pakistan, saying it was good news for a cricket-loving nation and would help revive international cricket here.

Zaheer said he has interaction with many foreign players and they are keen to play in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka cricket board on Sunday approved a tour to Pakistan, with its chief Thilanga Sumathipala saying that after a security assessment the team had been cleared to play three Twenty20 internationals including at least one in Lahore.

Sumathipala said he was keen to take his team to Pakistan as his security experts have given the go-ahead signal.

“We have three T20s coming up against Pakistan in September and we would like to play at least one of those games in Lahore,” Sumathipala said.

Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas, also known as the Run Machine, said, “It is wonderful that a team (Sri Lanka) attacked in Lahore is keen to revive international cricket in Pakistan. It is a positive message for other foreign teams, leaving no excuse for them to not play here.”

Zaheer, who had two stints as captain of the national team in 1981 and 1984, said he hoped everything goes well and Sri Lankan team’s tour leaves cherishable memories for the country.

Speaking about skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Zaheer said Sarfraz has proved his mettle as a team leader and under his captaincy cricket would flourish.

Zaheer, currently associated with Sports Board Punjab (SBP), said they were planning to open academies in the entire Punjab province for male and female players.

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Azhar Hashmi

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