LAHORE    -   Former International Cricket Council (ICC) President Zaheer Abbas has praised the role of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLC) for sending its team to Pakistan to play one-day and T20 series to help the country in resuming international cricket.

“The Lankan Board has done a tremendous job by sending its team to Pakistan for supplementing the ongoing efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board for bringing back international cricket and its role will always be remembered in Pakistan cricket history,” he said on Friday.

The former Pakistan captain and batting great said that without the all-out support of the Lankan Board, it was not possible to have this series played at Karachi and Lahore. “The six-match series of three ODIs and similar number of T20s has its own significance. It is another way forward to have international cricket in Pakistan and it will help in bringing back more international cricket in near future,” he added.

The batting legend said that the Sri Lankan side’s visit has approved that they are all time friends of Pakistan and they value the efforts of the PCB for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan. “The visit of the Lankan side has its own importance in many ways and it will help in restoring the confidence of the visiting side, which met a tragic terrorists attack on its players’ bus on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium, way back in March 2009.

“Sri Lankan team is visiting Pakistan after a long gap and its successful tour will add to Pakistan’s respect and prestige in many ways,” he added.

The former Test cricketer said that it was unfortunate that Pakistan was deprived of international cricket during past one decade and its cricket arenas wore a deserted look and cricket suffered a lot. “With international cricket being played in Pakistan, a new era of cricket has begun in the country which is evident from the ongoing successful tour of Lankan team and it is a unique opportunity for the fans to enjoy three back to back T20 international matches in their own backyard after successful one day series at Karachi.”

He said the during the ongoing visit of the Sri Lankan side, top of line security is being provided to the touring side as Pakistan and its armed forces have put in a lot of efforts to bring back security to normal level and to ensure the return of international cricket to the country.

The Asian Bradman said that the PCB’s role in the resumption of international cricket is appreciable as it is inviting officials of top cricket boards of the world to visit Pakistan during such series to oversee the security arrangements being made for the visiting team.

“Cricket is a binding force and adds to our national unity and brotherhood. It is the identity of Pakistan globally due to the country’s excellence in the game due to its past and present achievements in different formats of the game,” he added.