World XI and South African batsman Hashim Amla is confident the historic T20 matches against Pakistan this week will help to revive international cricket in the country.
The cricket-mad nation has been starved of high-profile cricket since 2009 after the militant attack on the touring Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore – which left eight people dead.
But now, eight years on, Pakistan is ready to come out of isolation and host their own national side and the World XI at the Gaddafi Stadium, in the same city, for three 20-over contests.
The matches will take place this Tuesday (12th), Wednesday (13th) and Friday (15th) amid a presidential style security presence.
It is another major breakthrough for the Pakistan Cricket Board following the successful staging of the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore earlier this year.
“I can speak for myself and everyone in the World XI squad that we’re all really excited to get to Pakistan, to be part of something special, and introducing international cricket slowly and safely back to Pakistan,” Amla, who has scored 16,537 runs for the Proteas in all formats, told assembled media at Dubai International Cricket Stadium ahead of the team’s flight to Pakistan later in the day.
The 34-year-old, who is joined by the likes of Faf du Plessis and Morne Morkel in the World XI to face a full-strength Pakistan side, added: “For all the players it’s part of being something bigger and trying to get international cricket back to Pakistan, which is really important for world cricket.
“We didn’t need any convincing to come and play because everything fitted into place.”
— Sport360° (@Sport360) September 10, 2017