Lahore - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Aziz Sethi has revealed that the country will host the Asia Cup for emerging players next year in April.

Speaking at the press conference before the third and last Twenty20 here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday, Sethi said: “The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting took some very important decisions and one of them is that Pakistan is going to host the Asia Cup for emerging players next year in April. The mega event will be featured by six ACC members including hosts Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and one qualifying team.”

Sethi said it is a great honour to welcome honorable Sri Lanka Cricket Board president Thilanga Sumathipala and the entire Sri Lankan team. “This is really a historic moment for me, cricket lovers and the entire nation. Though there was an incident in 2009, we want to forget yet we continued our efforts to revive international cricket Pakistan.

“The journey of international cricket revival began with Zimbabwe tour and now the Sri Lankan cricket team very kindly agreed to play a Twenty20 international here which would surely help in bringing more and full-fledged cricket in Pakistan. It is a great and courageous decision taken by the SLC and we appreciate them for this,” he added.

Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala, who had last visited Pakistan during the 1996 World Cup, recalled his memories saying, “Last time, I came here to see the 1996 Cricket World Cup. I can’t forget the warm hospitality extended to us by Pakistanis and it was also very memorable because we won that World Cup.

“We are happy and privileged to be here again and thankful to Pakistanis for warm welcome and great hospitality. Pakistan cricket is very good and they have been performing exceptionally at international level. We don't want any country to face cricketing isolation, and that’s why we want Pakistan host more and more international cricket events.”

About security, he said: “We are so happy and quite satisfied with the arrangements and security made for Sri Lankan team. We came here after board to board, government to government and security to security agreements. Pakistan is a great cricketing nation that has produced so many great cricketers and I hope it will continue to excel.

“My message to entire world especially for terrorists that they must keep away from children, women, religious places and sports and let them live happily and peacefully,” he added.

The SLC chief also joked that Sarfraz is very hungry for victories one after another. “We just won the Test series and Pakistan under Sarfraz’ captaincy have first won all the five ODIs and now they have already won the tea and eager to win the third as well. Sarfraz should relax and let us win,” he said in a lighter mood.

Sri Lanka captain also praised Pakistani people for according warm welcome and giving great respect and honour. “I had very wonderful experience here during the World XI tour and hope this one off T20 will also be very memorable.”