Afridi awaits Ronaldinho's arrival to Pakistan

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Sporting friends: Afridi and Ronaldinho.

One of the most beloved footballers around the world, Ronaldinho recently announced through a video message that he will be visiting Pakistan in July 2017.

And as soon as the Barcelona and Brazilian icon made this announcement, Pakistani sports fans along with their cricket icon, Shahid Afridi, were overjoyed.

Afridi, through a set of tweets, has welcomed the Brazilian legend in his own way.

Ronaldinho too responded to him while explaining his excitement and anticipation to visit the country.

The Brazilian who recently became a club ambassador for FC Barcelona, will be playing a seven-a-side exhibition game during his visit.

And while Afridi takes Ronaldinho to a tour of Pakistan this summer, let’s just hope this brotherly love between our footballers and cricketers continues to ‘Boom Boom’.

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REPORT: Butt set for Pakistan return

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The former captain, who was given a five-year ban from all forms of cricket after his role in the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal, could be set to return to the Test arena after a seven-year hiatus.

The 32-year-old’s domestic form has sparked calls for an international comeback, particularly given Pakistan’s indifferent form in Test cricket.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and head coach Micky Arthur have yet to announce the squad for this month’s tour to the Caribbean, which starts with T20 and ODI matches before ending with a three-Test series at the end of April.

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Akram: PSL final a great occasion

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Akram is involved with Islamabad United in the PSL.

Wasim Akram has described the Sunday night final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore as “a great occasion” for the country and scores of cricket fans, expressing hope that it will be staged without any hitches and pave the way for more cricket in Pakistan in the future.

Akram, the cricket director for Islamabad United and a brand ambassador of the PSL, shifted to the commentary box after his team lost to Karachi Kings in the second qualifying final on Wednesday.

Danny Morrison, Mel Jones and Alan Wilkins, who commentated on the PSL up until the third qualifying final between Karachi and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on Friday all refused to travel to Lahore citing security concerns, while Ian Bishop has flown home to be a part of the commentary team for the West Indies v England series.

“The PSL final in Lahore is a great occasion for Pakistan as well as for the millions of fans in the country, who have been deprived of watching their players for some time now,” Akram told Wisden India. “I am myself going to Gaddafi Stadium after ten years so it’s a great occasion and we all hope and pray that it happens successfully because a lot depends on this match. Our future in cricket also depends on this.”

Peshawar, who beat Karachi to qualify for the final, have the edge against Quetta Gladiators in the title round, felt Akram.

“Zalmi will have some advantage because of their foreign players, while Quetta’s top foreign players are no more with them. But Twenty20 is different and if you play well you carry the day, so no team is favourite,” he said, adding that he was impressed by Sarfraz Ahmed, the Quetta captain. “I like Sarfraz’s aggressive style and since he is also Pakistan’s one-day and Twenty20 captain, that is an added advantage for him.”

Quetta, who lost to Islamabad in the final last year, are going to be without Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, Tymal Mills and Rilee Rossouw, who have been replaced by Anamul Haque, Sean Ervine, Elton Chigumbura and Morne van Wyk.

This article originally featured on WisdenIndia.com and was written by Shahid Hashmi.

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