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Lahore hosts cricket match against foreign team for first time since 2009 terror attack

Lahore, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 ANI

Lahore, Apr 5 (ANI): A British University side took on a Pakistan Cricket Board Under-19 XI at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore for the first time since the horrendous terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, which brought a forced end to international cricket in Pakistan.

Militants opened fire on the visiting Sri Lankans as they made their way to the ground for the third day of the second Test in March 2009, near the Gaddafi Stadium.

No international cricket has been played in the country since then, as the terror attack left eight people killed and seven touring players, and their assistant coach were wounded.

"It's a great development that some foreign players, no matter University players, have played a cricket match at Gaddafi Stadium and it will give them a positive picture about Pakistan," Sports24 quoted Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Intikhab Alam, as saying.

The terror attack also cost Pakistan the hosting rights for their World Cup matches last year, and the team has been forced to play their 'home' matches at neutral venues, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

The British University team lost the 50-over match by a huge 302-run margin, but the PCB believes it will help in bringing back international cricket to the cricket-mad country.

Now, the PCB is trying hard to bring international cricket back to Pakistan, and has invited Bangladesh to play limited-overs series later this month.

Alam believes this tour would send positive signals to the other countries regarding the playing conditions in Pakistan.

"I am sure that when these boys go back home they will tell some positive things about Pakistan and not what is portrayed in the media," he added. (ANI)

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