ICC World XI arrive in Pakistan amid tight security for historic Independence Cup

The World XI, led by Faf du Plessis, arrived in Lahore in the early hours of Monday for the three-match T20I Independence Cup which gets underway on Tuesday.

Ashish Peter
by Ashish Peter
11th September 2017

article:11th September 2017

A security personnel keeps a close eye at the Gaddafi Stadium.
A security personnel keeps a close eye at the Gaddafi Stadium.

A World XI squad comprising 13 players from seven top cricket-playing nations landed in Lahore early Monday amid massive security, with Pakistan hoping the tour will end years of international isolation.

The World XI, which will play three Twenty20 internationals from Tuesday, arrived around 2:00am Pakistan time (2100 GMT) with air surveillance and dozens of police vans in attendance as the team was whisked to their hotel.

Ticket sales for the event went live on September 1 and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are anticipating a near sell-out crowd for the three matches.

The World XI is led by South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis, as well as Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy and George Bailey.

The ICC had earlier contracted an international security firm on a three-year deal to review the arrangements in Pakistan on a yearly basis.

The security team has already conducted a visit of the facilities in Lahore on September 5 and there is expected to be another review on Monday before the first T20I takes place the following day.

All the matches have been scheduled to take place at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore with the final encounter to be played on September 15.

Pakistan’s star pacer Mohammad Amir is set to miss the blockbuster series as the 25-year-old and his wife are expecting their first child.

The World XI, who had a two-day training camp in Dubai prior to landing in Pakistan, are to hold a three-hour practice-session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday.

West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy has already visited the country earlier this year for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore amidst tight security.

The Independence Cup continues to generate excitement around the South Asian country which has been avoided by touring international teams ever since terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

But security has dramatically improved across Pakistan in the last two years, signalling hopes for the slow revival of international sport in the country.



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