International cricket to fully return to Pakistan in two years: Sethi

 Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi is confident international cricket will be fully restored in Pakistan within a maximum of two years.

In a recent interview to BBC Urdu, Sethi expressed hope that in view of the improving security situation in the country and the successfully-hosted T20 matches in Lahore, the time is not far when Pakistan is able to host complete ODI and Test series.

“If we prepare our stadiums, we will be able to host matches with time. I believe international cricket will be fully restored in Pakistan within two years, at most,” he said.

The PCB chief pointed out that Pakistan has already successfully hosted international cricketers [in the ICC World XI team], Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. “And West Indies will be touring in March,” he added.

About Pakistan team’s recent ODI whitewash in New Zealand, Sethi said it would take some time for the youngsters in the side to become “stars”.

“The PSL has prepared us for T20s. Now we have to prepare for ODIs and Tests.”

He expressed concern that some of the veteran players in the team no longer have the required reflexes needed for modern cricket.

“That’s why we are building a young team. It takes time for young players to become stars.”

Sethi admitted that the team tends to struggle in ODI cricket. “Now our focus in on the 2019 World Cup, and we are getting ready for it.”

He assured that cricket in Pakistan would receive a huge boost due to the new talent being discovered at school and club-level cricket and in PSL.

“You will see that the [inconsistency] will go away soon.”

On spot-fixing, Sethi said he has ensured there is zero tolerance for violators of the board’s anti-corruption code.

“There is no room for forgiveness. We are monitoring with strict vigilance. There is absolutely zero tolerance,” he added.

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