World XI Team Reaches Lahore, Azadi Cup Begins Tomorrow

World XI Team Reaches Lahore, Azadi Cup Begins Tomorrow

World XI Team Reaches Lahore, Azadi Cup Begins Tomorrow

The captain of World XI squad and South Africa, Faf du Plessis, on Monday said the worldwide cricketers were "playing for something bigger than the game itself".

But the wily spinner is happy that he has convinced some of the World XI players to tour Pakistan for a noble cause - to help revive worldwide cricket in the country.

Worldwide teams have refused to tour Pakistan since the 2008 terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2008.

But the World XI tour, which is being seen as a game-changer by the PCB to bring back global cricket to Pakistan is not only supported by the ICC but the world governing body has also funded the visit of security experts to Lahore to okay the security arrangements for the short tour.

He said that efforts of security agencies of Pakistan for improving law and order situation in the country is laudable.

The World XI team arrived in Lahore at 2 a.m. Pakistan on September 11 - complete with air cover and hundreds of police officers providing protection before the players were quickly escorted to their hotel.

"Pakistan are a formidable team on the world stage and I've yet to play there, so it's an opportunity to play in new conditions".

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Aleem, who is from Lahore, welcomed the return of global cricket to Pakistan and said he was delighted to see that the deadlock has been broken and worldwide cricket is being played in the country. "I remember Giles Clarke once saying that no major teams would come to Pakistan until two years to the last bomb blast.", he recalls.

Meanwhile, in addition to these developments, former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi seems to be not content with the list of players in the World XI squad. "Global cricket should resume in Pakistan, absence of cricket was being greatly missed", he further added. When he was compared by a journalist with Pakistan leg spinner Shadab Khan, he said: "Shadab is a good talent and I hope he will do his best". He had also captained Quetta Gladiators in the PSL final earlier this year, but this will be the first instance of him captaining Pakistan on home soil in an global game.

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

Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England in June when they came into the tournament as the lowest ranked team.

New series marks return of foreign sportsmen after matches in Pakistan stopped after 2009 deadly attack in Lahore.

"You do think about that sort of thing, but as soon as we spoke to the people who were in control of the security.as a player all you want was that peace of mind and they gave it to us". "One day the whole Indian team will visit Pakistan", he said.

When asked about his favourite players in the World XI, he said he likes the South African Hashim Alma the most.

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