Wasim Akram Excited as Cricket Returns to Pakistan

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

The World XI squad players from England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand arrived in Lahore early on Monday amid tight security to play a three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Coach of the visiting ICC World XI, Andy Flower said on Monday that the prime objectives of the World XI tour to Pakistan are to participate in the celebrations of 70th anniversary of the independence, to play its part in the revival of global cricket and to play exciting cricket in front of the Pakistani people.

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

Speaking at the media briefing after having the training session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, Imran Tahir said: "I have mixed feelings as I am very glad to be here and feeling great to play worldwide cricket at home ground".

Pakistanis celebrated the return of global cricket at home with the arrival of players from seven countries for a tournament, following a long pause over security concerns.

For the World XI players, this will be an opportunity to help Pakistan cricket and put Pakistan back on track.

Pakistan vs World XI 1st T20 will be broadcast live on DSports from 07:30 PM IST. "The wounds heal slowly, but they most definitely will, and these matches in Lahore will send out a message to cricketing nations around the world that we (Pakistan) too will be back to hosting countries and celebrating the much-loved game". After our victory in the Champions Trophy, our responsibility has increased.

Independence Cup Live Streaming, Scores: Pakistan vs World XI T20
Pakistan Hosts Big-Time Cricket For First Time Since 2009 Terror Attack On Sri Lanka Team

It's been more than eight-and-a-half years since that morning in Lahore when a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers was attacked by militants. The week-long, T20 series will be played at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.

At the end of the match, the ecstatic Pakistan players walk out of the ground and mingle with their families and fans and excitedly discuss the game with each other.

"I am very excited", Lahore resident Qasim Ali Shah told Reuters.

World XI have finally descended on Pakistan soil for 3 T20I matches against Pakistan.

"Once the players boarded the plane, he said, their fears vanished as they began to look forward to taking part in what he described as a "huge turnaround in world cricket".

To a question, he said that the World-XI is a blend of top class cricketers of different countries and definitely it is going to give tough fight to the home side.

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