Dubai:International Cricket Council on Monday applauded the hosting of a two-match Test series between Pakistan and Australia starting at Lord's in London on Tuesday as a triumph for the spirit of the game.
The ICC praised the three cricket boards of Pakistan, Australia and England and Wales for making the series possible.
"We welcomed the initiative currently underway in England as Pakistan hosts Australia in a two-Test series at Lord's. Pakistan Cricket Board, Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board, the MCC and Yorkshire County Cricket Club all deserve acknowledgement for the role they have played in making this series happen," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in the staement.
"I encourage cricket-lovers worldwide, especially in England, to come out in force to watch these two great teams go head to head in what is the pinnacle format of our great sport," he said.
Pakistan has not seen international cricket for the past few years due to the volatile situation there but ICC said it has been making efforts that the country continues to play at international level.
"While staging international cricket inside Pakistan is not possible at present, it is essential that Pakistan plays international cricket albeit at neutral venues. In that sense, this series is a triumph for the spirit of cricket," Lorgat said.
"It is vital for the overall good of our great sport that the international cricket community rallies around Pakistan at what continues to be an extremely difficult time for the sport in that country," he said.
"That is why we are so pleased this series is going ahead. It is helping to keep the game strong at the highest level. It's fitting that the series is being sponsored by the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative. This is a prime example of how ICC Members work together in great spirit for the good of the game."
The second Test will start at Headingley from July 21.