LAHORE: Former Pakistan cricket captain Waqar Younis believes the World XI tour will open the doors of international cricket in Pakistan.

Speaking at the ‘meet the press’ programme hosted by Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) here on Thursday, Waqar said: “It is a step forward to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and it is going to be a memorable occasion in Pakistan cricket history when the World XI will play three T20Is next month here.”

The former pacer expressed his delight on World XI tour and said Pakistani people would be watching international cricket in their own backyard after a long gap. “It is good to see that positive things are happening in Pakistan cricket after a long time,” he added.

Waqar said that the successful holding of the first two editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) had added to the respect of the Pakistan cricket and brought overall improvement in the country’s cricket. “The PSL has helped in identifying new cricket talent, which played an important role in winning the Champions Trophy, which was very important for Pakistan cricket and it has elevated the country’s image and gave new identity to our cricket.”

He said apart from holding PSL matches and other international events at Lahore, it was necessary to hold the matches at Karachi, which is a great part of the country’s cricket.

The former Pakistan captain urged the PCB authorities to resolve the issue between Umar Akmal and coach Mickey Arthur in an amicable manner. “I think Umar himself is responsible for the trouble, but he should be given some time to get out of this phase to return to cricket to show his full form and fitness,” he said.

To a query, Waqar said the increase in the incidents of match-fixing or spot-fixing was a worrying sign for international cricket and called for launching collective efforts to overcome these negative tactics in the game. He said despite the recent the Champions Trophy victory, Pakistan cricket team needed a lot of hard work and extraordinary efforts to maintain consistency at international level.

Replying to another query, he underlined the importance of physical fitness in the game and said greater efforts were needed to improve the physical fitness of home players and it was a good sign that foreign experts, attached with Pakistan team, were working on this important aspect.

Waqar was of the view that a lot of experiments had been made with the domestic cricket in Pakistan, which could bring negative impact. “There is dire need to make domestic cricket events offering more cash incentives to the players,” he said.