Sports: Cricket: Sethi, Clarke’s efforts bring Int’l cricket back to Pakistan: Sallu

Karachi: The World XI team consisted of world-class players and successfully hosting the team for three-match series has marked the return of international cricket in Pakistan – thanks to Najam Sethi and Giles Clarke, remarked former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu.

Sallu praised PCB Chairman Najam Sethi for accelerating the pace of return of international cricket in Pakistan.

Sallu said that by hosting Pakistan Super League final in Lahore earlier this year, Najam Sethi paved the way for World XI series and hopefully initiating the resumption of international cricket.

“All credit goes to Najam Sethi and ICC Director Giles Clarke for making it possible for this historic series to happen with best available foreign players landing in Pakistan. Moreover, our security agencies also did a fine job for making this thing possible by providing foolproof security,” he told PPI.

“Abdul Razzaq is returning from Afghanistan and Shahid Afridi has squashed his plans of going to Afghanistan due to volatile security situation in the country. With security, no one can host international events and successfully holding World XI series shows that it’s now safe to play here in Pakistan.”

“I hope this series marks the return of international cricket to Pakistan. And I also hope Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad and other cities of the country will also be able to host such events in near future as well,” Sallu said.

Meanwhile, he praised World XI and said that it consisted of world-class players.

“World XI was a bunch of world-class players. On the other hand our team doesn’t have world class names in its fold. But still they managed to win the series 2-1 was because Pakistan as team has gelled well under skipper Sarfraz Ahmed especially with Champions Trophy historic title triumph,” Sallu said.

Sallu said that after winning the first game following impressive performance from batsman Babar Azam, Pakistan displayed poor fielding show in the second game and as a result it was lost.

He added that Sohail Khan and Rumman Raees bowled yorkers in the death overs, which was very much ill-timed initiative.

“When you are not a fast bowler like Waqar Younis and bowl at medium pace, it is a very bad decision to bowl Yorkers in death overs. Sohail and Rumman did just that and therefore conceded runs. A batsman can make a yorker ball a full toss if he plays it on the front foot. This happened with our medium pacers in the death overs,” explained Sallu. “Perera was brilliant with the bat at the end of the inning.”

Meanwhile, Sallu praised Sarfraz as the team bounced back in the third decisive match to clinch the historic series.

“Two run outs of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis helped us restrict World XI from reaching the target in the final. Ahmed Shahzad and Babar Azam also played well in the match.”

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