KARACHI: Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar has demanded that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hold at least one match in the metropolis owing to the fact that Sri Lanka cricket team is expected to tour Pakistan next month.

On Tuesday, Akhtar expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan cricket board for approving the Pakistan tour – the first since the 2009 attack. He said the people of Karachi will welcome the visitors if the PCB holds at least one of three T20 matches here.

The mayor, reminiscing the past glory of the city, said that Karachi had been a centre of international cricket in the past and many players had felt proud of playing in the city of lights. In the past, many exciting matches have been held here and the experts have appreciated the Karachi-ites’ spirit for the game, he said.

The mayor further assured that the players and match officials will be provided fool-proof security by the Rangers and police if the metropolis was given a chance. He also hoped the Sri Lankan team’s tour will open the door for international cricket in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka’s cricket board approved a tour to Pakistan over the weekend, eight years after an attack against the team brought top international games in Pakistan to a standstill.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said after a security assessment, the team had been cleared to play three T20 internationals including "at least one" in Lahore.

Karachi’s National Stadium hosted its last ODI and Test match against Sri Lanka in January and February 2009.