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The return of top-flight cricket to Pakistan looms with the ICC confirming plans for  series in Lahore

Plans for the full resumption of international cricket in Pakistan moved forward Friday when the sport’s global governing body said it wanted to send a World XI to the country later this year.

With the exception of Zimbabwe’s tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their ‘home’ matches outside of the country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.

But Friday saw the International Cricket Council, following the conclusion of its annual meeting in London, announce that plans for a World XI to play in Pakistan later this year were “continuing to be developed”.

The ICC board said it had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series between Pakistan and a World XI in a bid to help revive international cricket in the country.

All the matches would take place in Lahore and be accorded full Twenty20 International status, the ICC said, adding “further details will be announced in due course.”

After Pakistan’s stunning 180-run win over arch-rivals India in the final of the Champions Trophy at The Oval last week, coach Mickey Arthur said he hoped the visit of the World XI would go ahead.

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