Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Pakistan vs World XI, 3rd T20I, Lahore

Pakistan vs World XI, 3rd T20I, Lahore

It's the only (cricket-playing) country I hadn't been to, but now I can say I've played cricket in Pakistan. World cricket's governing body wants global teams back in Pakistan after an eight-year absence due to security concerns but cautioned that it could be a "long process".

Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi has accepted the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) offer of a farewell reception which will include a lap of honour at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, DawnNews reported. He was run-out after three back-to-back 6s in the 17th over.

In the event of teams refusing to play in Pakistan, the ICC will look into sending another World XI team.

Zimbabwe had toured Pakistan amid heavy security back in 2015, and Lahore has been converted into a fortress for the ongoing Independence Cup which is now levelled at 1-1 with one more game left. The World XI players were given a ride in colourful rickshaws for a lap of honour.

"On a more personal note, I have a strong bond with Pakistan, having toured here with the Zimbabwe cricket team in 1993, 1996 and 1998, " Flower said.

"The magnificent victory in the ICC Champions Trophy [in June this year] coupled with the Test team's top ranking [for a brief period last year] lifted our cricket to a new level and now the world [teams] want to play series with Pakistan", he said. The cricketer and the board had developed differences in 2016 in connection with his "farewell" after retirement from global cricket. This is huge not just for Pakistan but for the entire cricket world. "We think that we have opened the door for the return of global cricket", Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi told Reuters.

"It is great. The hospitality, the support from the crowds at the ground".

"My personal bond with guys like Mushtaq Ahmed and Muhammad Akram and my brother's experience with the Pakistani players make it particularly special for me to be here". People are so grateful and thankful they have a team to play against in their own backyard.

Gracious in defeat, Du Plessis praised the Pakistan team and said he would welcome more opportunities to tour the country.

Former Australia captain George Bailey is also in line to play his first game in the series and will most probably replace David Miller. For the sake of them and for the betterment of our sports, let's hope cricket is celebrated in all parts of the world including Pakistan.

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