‘Wonderful to see’ cricket returning to Pakistan: Graeme Smith

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ISLAMABAD: Former South African captain and the head coach of T20 Global League team Benoni Zalmi has said that he is happy to see international cricket returning to Pakistan.

Talking to a private news channel, the veteran cricketer noted that Pakistani cricket has suffered a lot and that it is good to see that fans of the sport will be able to witness international cricket on home soil once again.

“It is wonderful to see the game returning to Pakistan and fans able to experience international cricket,” Smith said.

He added, “It has been hard for Pakistan to not to be able to play cricket at home but the credit goes to the players and ICC (International Cricket Council) for launching cricket there again.”

With regard to Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) initiative to hold a franchise-based T20 league, the former batsman hoped it will help the country’s cricket grow.

“I am very excited about the league; it is amazing for our game in South Africa. It was long-needed,” he said.

Smith while commenting on the participation of the franchise owners from Pakistan and India went on to thank “people from around the world, who have invested and bought the teams and put this all together. We all are looking forward to it”.

The former SA captain praised team Zalmi’s management, mentioning how great it is to work with Javed Afridi and Mohammad Akram, both of whom are passionate about the game’s progress.

The sportsman also spoke about the future of league cricket, saying that the T20 format should be exclusively for the franchise-based leagues, whereas international T20s should be limited to the World Cup only.

“I think T20 shouldn’t be at international level, I think it should be just a franchise-based format, may be just a World Cup, but not international matches in this format,” the former captain suggested.

“The landscape of cricket has changed, with leagues popping up from all over the world and players (showing significant interest) in them. It also offers a huge financial remuneration for players,” he explained. – APP

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Story first published: 27th August 2017

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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