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PCB gets a breakthrough in terms of attracting worldwide cricket to Pakistan

Lahore's Gaddafi stadium gears for international cricket's return as Pakistan hosts World XI

Pakistan celebrated the return of global cricket with a thumping 33-run win to clinch the final Twenty20 match and the series against a World XI team at Lahore's Gaddafi stadium on Friday (Sep 15).

But the World XI tour seems to have finally changed the game for Pakistan.

Pakistan take on World XI in the third and the final T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday. Shehzad reached his fifty off 37 deliveries and struck three consecutive sixes in the 18th over to help Pakistan seize the momentum that they lost a bit in the middle.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had organized the series in collaboration with the ICC in a bid to revive global cricket at home after eight years.

"This clearly demonstrates the unity within the cricket family as well as the cricket fraternity's long-standing resolve to help one of its key members which has been unable to host global cricket since 2009 for no fault of its own".

PCB chairman Najam Sethi confirmed the series by stating, "The agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board has been finalized and done and they have confirmed they will come to Lahore in November to play three T20 Internationals". Many members of Pakistan's young cricket-mad population, 60 percent of which is under 25, have not had a chance to watch live cricket at home.

Hasan Ali, the fast-rising Pakistan paceman who missed the last game with a sore back, is expected to join the Playing XI.

Najam Sethi expressed his gratitude to the ICC for lending hand for the resumption of global cricket to Pakistan by sending its World XI.

He also said: "From a political point of view, obviously, if an Indian player would have been a part of this tour you can imagine the level of attention he would have attracted and the pressures it would have brought from the security point of view". He said that all the money that would have been earned through India-Pakistan matches is now going to the ICC and if cricket resumes between the countries, the cricket boards would be the biggest gainers.

Hashim Amla hit an unbeaten 55-ball 72 while Thisara Perera ransacked 47* off 19 as the visitors chased down 175 on the penultimate ball.

Sri Lanka, whose cricketers were attacked in that terrorist attack in 2009, have already agreed to make the trip and play in Pakistan in November this year.