ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Governing Board member Shakil Shaikh has said that hosting PSL final will go a long way in reviving the international cricket activities in Pakistan.

In an interview with The Nation, Shakil Shaikh, who is also Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA) President, said: “The doors of international cricket will be opened, if the PSL final is held in Lahore and it will also send a clear message that Pakistan cricket is on right track. The way international players have posed confidence in the PSL is more than enough to shut big mouths up, who were describing the PSL as waste of time and money and an exercise in futile.”

He said the ICC would push Pakistan’s case for holding bilateral series and other major tournaments, like the PCB had successfully held World Cups in 1987 and 1996 and other major ICC events. “The PSL final will pave way for international sports revival in Pakistan. Pakistan cricket and cricketers suffered a lot and the cricket fans as well, which was a huge injustice with them, but now the trend is going to change with this new wave.”

Shakil has said that the making PSL a company is in process, as it will take some time before becoming an autonomous body, which will indeed benefit Pakistan cricket. The PSL will not only provide financial support to Pakistan cricket and cricket board but also helping in hunting and grooming fresh talent. Pakistan cricket will take giant strides and all the sufferings of masses and players will be over in short span of time.”

When asked some certain people were against holding Pakistan team matches in UAE, holding UAE pitches responsible for decline of Pakistan cricket and PSL should have been held at England, Shakil replied: “We had defeated all the major teams of the world in UAE, every team enjoy the liberty of home pitches, but unfortunately, due to security concerns, Pakistan is deprived of hosting international matches but the good thing is that despite all odds, our Test team become the ICC number 1 playing nation while playing on UAE tracks, while our performance on Australian and New Zealand pitches were also not bad at all, instead it was bad luck and minor mistakes of the batsmen, which went against Pakistan team and we lost the series in Australia and New Zealand.

“But people must also keep in mind, Pakistani players had not played a single international series at home soil. The PCB is working on modern lines and the day is not far when international cricket will return full fledge and we are also working on the lines of preparing pitches similar to the conditions, we have to face abroad,” he added.

Shakil said that he was looking after domestic cricket affairs in the country and let him assure all, soon domestic cricket phase would be completely changed. “The people, who talk so much, keep on levelling allegations and point fingers at others, will soon had to eat their words, as revolution is about to come. Firstly, changes at U-19 level will start from April this year, when modern methods will be introduced, besides hefty amounts will be spent on conducting U-19 One-Day Cup at different venues and new culture will unearth.

We are also working on the lines to construct cricket grounds, like Hanif Abbasi ground has been constructed in Rawalpindi, as Pindi was in dire need of quality cricket grounds while soon more cricket grounds will be constructed in all major sectors of capital. I will soon meet with CDA chairman, who in principle has agreed to allocate land for ground purposes. Deputy Mayor Shani Shah is also planning to construct ground in local suburbs of Islamabad, while a cricket ground is also planned in Trammri Chowk,” he added.

When asked about grounds issue with the CDA was continuing and liking and disliking policy was being adopted by the civic body, Shakil replied: “I will discuss this issue in the meeting with CDA Chairman and it will be resolved amicably.”