Shashank Manohar has welcomed the return of major international cricket games to Pakistan ©ICC

The resumption of major international cricket matches in Pakistan, following a period when they were suspended due to security concerns, has been welcomed by the chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Shashank Manohar.

The Indian lawyer wished the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Pakistan and World XI teams involved in this week's Independence Cup Twenty20 games in Lahore "the very best wishes from the whole cricket family for a competitive series that the passionate fans in Pakistan can enjoy".

Manohar said: "This is a good day for world cricket as the PCB hosts a World XI in Lahore for three T20 international games. 

"It has been a long and tough journey as the PCB, Pakistan players and fans have been starved of the opportunity to stage, play and watch international cricket in their own country. 

"I am hopeful that this marks the start of the safe and steady return of international cricket to Pakistan.

"The ability of Pakistan to play international cricket at home is crucial to the long term health of the game in Pakistan and one of the main reasons why the ICC established the Pakistan Task Force under the leadership of Giles Clarke, to explore, in partnership with the PCB, how we can get international cricket back to Pakistan safely and on a regular basis.

"I sincerely hope that this week's games mark the start of a steady flow of international cricket to this great cricket nation."

Pakistan have been forced to play home matches in the United Arab Emirates  ©Getty Images
Pakistan have been forced to play home matches in the United Arab Emirates ©Getty Images

Ongoing security issues have made it difficult for Pakistan to host international games, with "home" matches instead taking place in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2009, eight people were killed when a bus carrying the Sri Lanka team was fired upon by gunmen before the third day of the second test in Lahore.

Since then the country has only played minor international matches on home soil against Zimbabwe, Kenya and Afghanistan.

The last series in Pakistan was against the Zimbabweans in May 2015.

Fourteen people died in 2002 after a suicide bombing outside the Karachi hotel used by the New Zealand cricket team, with the tourists leaving the country early.

In 2008, the contest for the ICC Champions Trophy did not go ahead in Pakistan after England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa all withdrew due to security concerns.

The World XI team arrived in Pakistan today and were transported in a bomb-proof bus.

All three Independence Cup games will be played at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium with the first match tomorrow.

The second and third matches will take place on September 13 and 15.