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'Pakistan have taken a great step forward in safely hosting PSL matches' – ICC chief

ICC chief executive David Richardson said Pakistan have taken ‘a great step forward’ in safely hosting the eight Pakistan Super League matches, a decade on from an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore which has seen foreign teams refuse to tour the country over security concerns.

Since then, Pakistan has tried to revive international cricket at home, having hosted the finals of Pakistan Super League for the last two years and played matches against a World XI, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

This year eight PSL matches were hosted in Karachi without incident and Richardson said it was helping in changing the perception of Pakistan.

"The perception outside of Pakistan was that it was quite a dangerous place to visit in the past and that perception slowly but surely has been changed," he said while addressing media during PSL final between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi.

He said a recent tour by 43 foreign players, including former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson and current New Zealand opener Colin Munro, reflected the efforts Pakistan has made in reviving international cricket.

Trust over security has "increased tremendously," he added.

'Security in World Cup an absolute priority'

The deadly New Zealand shootings which Bangladesh cricketers narrowly avoided means security will remain an "absolute priority" going into the World Cup, ICC chief executive David Richardson said.

Fifty people lost their lives in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, in what is believed to be the worst assault on Muslims in a Western country.

Bangladesh's Test cricketers were just a few minutes from being caught up in the massacre, arriving in a bus at one of the mosques as shooting began.

Also Read: 'Will take a while to overcome Christchurch horror' - Tamim Iqbal

The third Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand, which was due to start in Christchurch on Saturday was called off as the Bangladesh team returned home.

"I don't think security is anything new, obviously something happening in New Zealand probably took a lot of people by surprise and it emphasised the need not to be complacent, especially going into the World Cup," Richardson said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board will host the World Cup from May 30 to July 14.

"I know the work has already been done by the security director together with all the security agencies in the UK and they are leaving no stone unturned," he added.

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