After playing most of their home games in the United Arab Emirates due to security concerns over the last eight years, Pakistan hopes hosting a series against a World XI next month will help cement the return of international cricket to the country.
Barring a short visit by Zimbabwe two years ago, Pakistan has been starved of international cricket since 2009 when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Sri Lankan players in Lahore, wounding six players and killing six security staff and two civilians.
The International Cricket Council has also given its backing to the series in Lahore, subject to security clearance.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi said getting security clearance had put the wheels in motion but he was praying that the situation remained steady.
“This is a very big thing,” Sethi, who was recently named PCB chairman for the next three years, told reporters in Lahore. “September, October, and November are big months.
“It’s a big agenda, we need your prayers and we will open the doors and international teams will come. Pray that we keep our security solid. The Punjab government has given us the signal and preparations are in full swing.”
The World XI, comprising of 15 international players, would be led by former England coach Andy Flower and the identities of the players would be announced soon, Sethi added.
Sri Lanka Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala said recently the board was keen to play at least one T20 game in Lahore next month as part of their series against Pakistan in the UAE.
The PCB are also in advanced discussions with Cricket West Indies for the Caribbean team to play three T20 matches in Lahore in late November.