11 Apr 2012

Pakistan Cricket pin hopes on Twenty 20 comp

7:36 am on 11 April 2012

Deprived of hosting international matches since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus three years ago, the Pakistan Cricket Board hopes a high-profile new Twenty20 league can lure back overseas players.

No international team has played in Pakistan since the March 2009 attack in Lahore, which left eight people dead and several visiting players wounded, and the national team has had to play its "home" matches abroad, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

Passion for cricket in Pakistan remains undiminished, however, and corporate interest has reignited efforts to start a Pakistan Premier League modelled on the megabucks Indian Premier League.

Pakistani players, who are usually a major draw in India, have been kept out of the tournament since the second edition, reportedly due to security fears.

Four companies, including one from India, are expected to give a presentation to the PCB this week on how to stage the PPL.

Convincing foreign players to come to a country still battling Islamist militancy will be no easy task, particularly with the IPL on the doorstep offering huge salaries and reliable safety.