Pakistan to host battle of the Punjabs

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will host a team from the Indian Punjab in June for a limited-overs series as the country takes steps towards reviving international cricket on home soil following a two-year absence.

On Sunday, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt confirmed an agreement had been reached with the Indian Punjab cricket association for a bilateral series in June and September in the Punjab provinces of the neighboring countries.

“The governments of both countries have given the green light for the series to take place and the Indian Punjab team is also visiting Pakistan with the approval of the Indian cricket board,” Butt told the Dawn daily newspaper.

No international or representative cricket has been played in Pakistan since March 2009 after militants attacked the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

Six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed in the attack and five Sri Lankan players riding in the team bus were wounded.

Following the attack, the International Cricket Council (ICC) opted to remove Pakistan’s co-hosting rights for 2011 World Cup matches.

Butt said Pakistan would host two one-day and two Twenty20 matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan under lights, while the Indian Punjab association would hold their matches in Chandigarh, Jullander and Amritsar in September.