Pakistan cricketers asked to return from CPL and county assignments

Newly elected Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi vowed yesterday to bring global competition back to the terror-hit country after years of isolation.

The Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) is waiting for a response from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on details of proposed security arrangements for the World XI tour next month.

Sethi, 69, will replace Shaharyar Khan, who quit because of health and personal reasons after completing his tenure.

The original plan was for the series to conclude in the last week of September.

The new chief, whose first term as chairman in 2013 was marred by court wrangling, said bringing worldwide cricket back to Pakistan would be a challenging but worthwhile goal.

“We need to show patience because it is related to the security in the country”, Sethi said to local media.

Pakistan are also set to travel to the UAE from September 21 for a full series against Sri Lanka.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recalled all its cricketers now involved in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), as well as the County Championship in England, as it gears up to organise a home series between the national side and an ICC World XI in mid-September.

It comes after the final of the Pakistan Super League, a domestic Twenty20 competition, was played in the country earlier this year.

While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan’s request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants the Indian cricket board to honour its commitment of six series between 2015-2023 under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India. This change was made to ensure the series would not clash with a high profile by-election in Lahore on September 17, coming in the wake of the Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from the post of Prime Minister last month.

It is mandatory, according to the PCB’s constitution, that the chairman should be elected from the members of the board of governors.

Sethi was also a former caretaker chief minister of the Punjab province and was the key official behind the successful staging of Pakistan’s domestic Twenty20 league. He said that the decision to hold PSL final in Karachi next year after the Lahore final could prove pivotal in establishing Pakistan’s image as safe country for the game.