Cricket returns to Pakistan with many hopes
International cricket returns to Pakistan after six years as their cricket team is all set to host the Zimbabwe cricket team. This series will play vital role in deciding people's perception of how safe is cricket in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka was the last team to visit Pakistan in 2009. That tour was called off after the Sri Lankan team was attacked by gunmen while they were leaving from their hotel to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. This left Pakistan cricket with nothing as all the future tours of teams coming to Pakistan were cancelled with immediate concern over security.
Zimbabwe cricket team has been given state guest security with over more 4000 policemen deployed for their safety. Every minor space has been covered of the route from where the Zimbabwean team is going to travel.
The road traffic from their hotel to the stadium has been cleared and helicopters are kept ready for any emergency threat. Even all the shops and restaurants on their route have been vacated and surveillance cameras across the city are active.
It'll be a tough task for the citizens to reach the stadium as no vehicle is allowed near Gaddafi Stadium which is set to host all the tour matches.
Even the government officials know what this tour means to Pakistan, and they have said that this a great opportunity for Pakistan to show their clear image to the World.
"We don't want to waste this opportunity, after this series, the sports teams from other countries will also take inspiration from the Zimbabwe cricket team, which would definitely be a great success for Pakistan," said Col (retd) Shujah Khanzada, Punjab's minister as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
He added saying, "These are most difficult times of Pakistan, we all know this. We have to use all the means to ensure it's safe. It will send a good message and we will build a strong image internationally.
"If we organise these matches successfully, there are lots of other teams, which are monitoring it and will play in Pakistan too."
Zimbabwe’s team arrived in Pakistan on 19th May and are schedule to play two Twenty 20 and three One Day International matches.