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.
— Siasat.pk (@siasatpk) September 10, 2017
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.
— Raza Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) September 10, 2017
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.
Final preparations are underway for tomorrow’s first clash between Pakistan and the World XI in Lahore.
— ICC (@ICC) September 11, 2017
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.