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Faf, Flower woo Pak fans as worldwide cricket blooms again

12 September 2017, 12:45 | Percy Christensen

Independence Cup Live Streaming, Scores: Pakistan vs World XI T20

Grant Elliott's batting cameo wasn't enough to get the World XI to victory in their opening T20 against Pakistan in Lahore

This was the case for Pakistan as well until the tragic events of March 3 2009 when the Sri Lankan cricketers were the target of a terrorist attack on the third day of the second Test in Lahore.

"For all the players [in the World XI side] it is about helping Pakistan get global cricket back in their country which is also important for world cricket", Amla had said during a media interaction in Dubai.

With the improving security situation in Pakistan and favourable assessments by security experts, it is now deemed an injustice to keep Pakistan off the global tour destination list.

The three matches will be held on September 12, 13 and 15th at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

An unprecedented security greeting the side, to be led by South African captain Faf du Plessis, at the Allama Iqbal International airport. The matches are scheduled to start at 7:30 pm (IST). Officials have said there will be "foolproof" security for the three-match Twenty20 series starting Tuesday in Lahore.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have high hopes that the series will close the dark chapter for good - and allow a new generation of players to experience the thrill of playing before a home crowd for the first time.

"It's kind of mixed feeling", said Tahir.

The World XI players arrive on the pitch in rickshaws at Ghaddafi Stadium
MOHSIN RAZA REUTERS The World XI players arrive on the pitch in rickshaws at Ghaddafi Stadium

"I have achieved a number of milestones in my umpiring career but standing in my own home ground will be something which I will always cherish in my memories as I have supervised a lot of T20 games overseas", he said.

As the world gets ready to witness cricket in a country which has a population of about 193.2 million, here are five reasons why the return of cricket to Pakistan is a welcome move. This will be something that I can say was a huge honour to be a part of.

"It's great to be here", Andy Flower, the World XI coach and former Zimbabwe captain, said. I don't know, probably I am a local and grew up here so I think different from others but for me it is absolutely fine by me.

"So look I can't see any problems, what I see and what I be hearing has positive vibe about this thing".

When asked about the home team's batting lineup, Sarfraz acknowledged that since he became captain, the T20 squad has consisted mainly of young players. I supported this cause and actually encouraged people to support this cause.

He added: "It's exciting to be playing cricket in Pakistan and also making a difference and playing a small part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan".

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