Following the success of the trouble-free Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore on 5 March, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is planning on reestablishing international cricket in the nation.
After much debate on whether it should be held in Dubai or Pakistan due to safety concerns, the final was confirmed to be played at the 25,000-seater Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs to win their first-ever PSL crown.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi said the final would be a victory for Pakistan with the nation aiming to repair their reputation. After successfully hosting a high level series for the first time since 2009, it looks like the country is preparing for hosting international cricket in a couple of months.
According to The Guardian, the ICC is planning on sending a World XI to Pakistan in September 2017 for a four match Twenty20 series, which is to be called The Independence Cup, marking the 70th anniversary of partition.
Sethi confirmed the report, stating that it was "spot on". He, however, mentioned that the number of matches in the series and the dates are subject to change. He also revealed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in discussions with other countries' cricket boards to hold more series in the nation for the near future.
"I can't reveal more details at the moment but we are in touch with boards of other countries and we will inform [the public] soon," he explained to DawnNews.
President of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clark – who also heads the ICC's Pakistan Task Force – believes the success of the PSL final has shown that international cricket can be held in Lahore.
"The desire is to give the cricket-starved Pakistani supporters the chance to see some of the world's finest players in live action," Clarke said as quoted on The Guardian. "The world of cricket needs to help Pakistan, who cannot continue to play their home fixtures overseas."
"The youth need inspiring, and the national teams need far more cricket played in familiar terrain. Furthermore, the terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan."
The World XI team is expected to assemble in Dubai on 17 September, before flying to Lahore for the T20 series.