Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) effort to bring top-drawer cricket back to the country, which saw the success of Pakistan Super League, has "changed the perception" about the country so far as hosting the international matches is concerned, says ICC CEO David Richardson.
"I think they've done a tremendous job and the level of comfort is growing all the time among the foreign players," ESPNcricinfo quoted Richardson, as saying during PSL final between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi.
"I know some security officials from Australia and other countries have come to see the matches here. Step by step, certainly, Pakistan is on the right path and I know that the PCB will be redoubling their efforts to encourage people and teams to come across and certainly it will be with the ICC's support," he said.
Pakistan has completed ten years since the country became a no-go zone for international cricket teams after the armed attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. The PCB was forced to make the UAE their home away from home. Since the visit by Zimbabwe in 2015, there has been a steadily travelling by teams to the country.
This season, the PSL took place in the UAE, where 26 games played before the matches shifted to Pakistan. Earlier, three of eight matches were scheduled to be played in Lahore followed by five in Karachi.
But all the matches moved to Karachi due to logistical concerns. Over 2,30,000 spectators attended the matches, making it nearly full-house show. However, the security arrangements for the overseas players saw the presidential-level cover.
"As you may be aware, the ICC has tried to support Pakistan in getting international cricket back to Pakistan on a more regular basis and I think everyone agrees that having the PSL matches in Pakistan and the final in Karachi is a great step forward in achieving that," Richardson said.
"Because the fact is that the perception outside of Pakistan was that it was quite a dangerous place to visit in the past and that perception, slowly but surely, has been changed through the good work that has been done yet. I think that point needs to be appreciated. The fact that so many foreign players agreed to come and play in Pakistan is indicative of that," he added.
PSL final saw Quetta Gladiators lifting their maiden title after defeating Peshawar Zalmi by eight wickets and 13 balls remaining.
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