PCB buoyed by success of Pakistan-England T20 series

Featured image credit: Pakistan Cricket Board

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has hailed the success of the recently concluded T20 international series against England, with stadium attendance of 97.35% across the seven games marking a record for a series in the country.

England’s 4-3 series win over four games in Karachi and three in Lahore from September 20 to October 2 represented the visiting team’s first tour of Pakistan since 2005. Karachi National Stadium drew a total attendance of 126,550 over its four games, representing 95.3% capacity.

The concluding three games at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore pulled in 63,045 fans, or 99.4% of a full house at the 21,174-capacity ground.

Following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore back in March 2009, Pakistan was forced into exile for a lengthy period of time, mainly playing its ‘home’ matches in the UAE.

However, with the security situation improving in Pakistan over recent years, the PCB has been working on returning top-class cricket to the country, and Raja has hailed the response of the fans.

He said: “Prior to the start of the (England) series, the general perception was it was too long a series. I was worried how we would keep the interest of the fans alive over seven T20Is at two venues in the space of 12 days.

“However, the quality of cricket played and the overwhelming response we have received from the Karachi and Lahore crowds, as well as the media, has made it seem like a short series. Packed houses, despite four of the seven matches taking place on work days, have clearly established the bond between the national side and the cricket fans.”

Raja added: “Earlier this year, we had promised our fans that we’d deliver high-intensity home international cricket. We have now successfully produced the first-ever uninterrupted HBL Pakistan Super League, Australia’s men’s first full tour in 24 years and the first-leg of England’s visit for T20Is. The stage is now set for December’s three Tests between Pakistan and England.”