Lahore: Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the security situation in Pakistan.
"We strongly believe that this (hosting of World XI team) would be a step forward towards building confidence of the sporting community," he said addressing a press conference alongside Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi in Lahore.
He thanked the PCB for holding the three-match T20I series for the Independence Cup in a bid to revive cricket in the country. "I am sure in couple of years time we are going to talk about holding ICC events in Pakistan. Certainly, our aim is to bring more and more cricket matches to Pakistan, but first of all our focus is on holding more PSL matches in the country. We want more games in Pakistan," he said.
The ICC chief acknowledged the PCB's efforts in revival of the international cricket in Pakistan. "I think the next step is to grow and improve the capability in cities outside Lahore and build the confidence in teams like Australia and England to visit Pakistan, in fact, all the cricket teams." the ICC chief executive said.
Responding to a question, Richardson said it is a wrong perception that ICC favours India more than Pakistan.
"India is a very powerful cricketing country so it has a very strong voice in the ICC. But the fact remains that we have 12 members, and India doesn't have any more voice than any other member."
Asked about a full-fledged India-Pakistan bilateral series, which last took place in 2007, Richardson was very clear on what the ICC's stance was. He left the issue for the respective member boards to decide and said that the ICC's role was just that of a facilitator.
"When it comes to ICC events, there's no question that if India are drawn against Pakistan they will be playing. On the question of bilateral series between the two countries, not only India-Pakistan, but all series are agreed upon on a bilateral basis."
"I understand that the (current) situation between the two countries is not exactly as rosy as it could be. The BCCI at the moment along with its government doesn't believe it's time for them to play Pakistan. I also know that the PCB has been talking to the BCCI for a number of years in trying to arrange tours whether to Pakistan, in Dubai or anywhere else. That process is a work in progress.
"At the moment, the ICC's role in this is to facilitate. We don't like our member countries fighting each other. We have a process to deal with it and we'll need to let the process run its course," Richardson was quoted as saying by a cricket-specific website.