ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram has said he is “looking forward” to beginning a cricket league in Saudi Arabia following his trip to Riyadh this week.
The Pakistani pacer issued the statement after a meeting with Chairman of Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation (SACF) Prince Saud bin Mishaal to discuss the future of the sport in the kingdom.
Akram’s visit follows a recent strengthening of cricket ties between the two countries. Last month, Javed Afridi, who owns Pakistan Super League franchise Peshawar Zalmi, announced that his team was going to play exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia.
Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi also said last month the South Asian country was prepared to share its expertise in the sport with the kingdom where cricket was increasingly growing in popularity.
“What a trip to Riyadh,” Akram wrote in a Facebook post this week. “Had a great meeting with H.H. Saud [bin] Mishaal, talked about cricket in Saudi Arabia, and so looking forward to [starting] a Saudi league insha Allah very soon.”
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strong economic, defense and cultural ties.
Last month, Pakistan women’s football team participated in a four-nation international tournament in the Kingdom and secured second position.
Since its establishment in 2020, the SACF has launched a series of major initiatives, including a national cricket championship, a corporate cricket tournament, a league for expatriate workers, and social programs in several cities.
It oversees 15 official associations representing the sport in nine regions and has announced plans to set up additional associations in the remaining regions to ensure that cricket activities are held across the kingdom.