'World XI players will cherish 'memorable' Pakistan tour for life'

Saul Bowman
September 17, 2017

Pakistan are set to play World XI in the series decider of the Independence Cup later on Friday. Once he was out on the ground the crowd started cheering "Boom Boom Afridi" as rickshaw drove him around the stadium.

However, he was not sure whether a short tour by a World XI could convince his country to resume playing bilateral cricket in Pakistan.

"This tour is another reminder of the fact that cricket transcends boundaries", he said.

Speaking to media after the third Twenty20 global (T20I) between Pakistan and World XI, Flower - who formerly coached England and captained Zimbabwe - commented on how the series, despite being a baby step, was the one in the right direction. Lahories, as well as people from other cities, were so much excited and they were not even afraid of anything bad.

Pakistan was deprived of global cricket since 2009 when Sri Lankan team was attacked by militants in Lahore due to which Pakistan became a no-go zone for foreign cricket teams.

Since then, the only global team to visit Pakistan was Zimbabwe, which played five limited-overs games in Lahore in 2015. Aerial monitoring of Gaddafi stadium and the hotel where World XI players were staying, was done by law enforcement agencies.

"The reaction of the Pakistanis who were at the ground is something I have never seen in my life", said Clarke, who attended the first two matches.

"From my point of view, as chairman of the ICC's Pakistan task team, I am very pleased that we have accomplished this and I am sure the players will talk to their colleagues and we will see the return of bilateral worldwide cricket to Pakistan".

The likes of Darren Sammy were paid up to $50,000 for the PSL final. "It has been very successful and very well-received here in Pakistan", Flower added.

"The ICC has already agreed to invest in security and improving the security capabilities for a three-year period", Richardson said, adding that he would like to see other countries sending their teams to Pakistan.

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