Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

ICC backs return of worldwide matches in Pakistan

ICC backs return of worldwide matches in Pakistan

"It seems like they were missing worldwide cricket", he said.

But the large security presence did little to temper the enthusiasm of fans in the cricket-mad country.

Around 9,000 police officers and paramilitary forces were deployed to the area, cordoning off the team's hotels and stadium. "Hosting the World XI was our idea which was fully endorsed and promoted by Richardson and Giles Clarke and others, for which we are really grateful to them".

Fans have been clamouring for the return of global cricket since March after the final of the domestic T20 Pakistan Super League, featuring high-profile foreign players such as World Cup victor Darren Sammy, was held in Lahore.

Pakistan, sent into bat, put up a strong 197 for 5, with Babar Azam scoring a career-best 86 off just 52 balls.

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"Whether years two and three include a World XI tour is not decided, maybe not".

For Pakistan Sohail Khan, Shadab Khan and Rumman Raees took two wickets apiece.

A 14-member squad under the leadership of South African skipper Faf du Plessis and coached by former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower arrived in Lahore early morning on September 11 amid tight security to participate in a three-match T20I series.

"Now if someone wants to propagate against Pakistan cricket, no one is going to believe such negative campaign against a country in which a world XI is playing", he added.

"It is great achievement that five of the players in World XI are from South Africa".

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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed thanked the crowd.

"It was a very important match and I think no praise is too high for our players, especially Azam".

The final of the second edition of the PSL Twenty20 league was held in Lahore six months ago, after group matches took place in the United Arab Emirates, and the ongoing World XI tour has so far passed without any security incidents.

Pakistan hopes the series will showcase an improved security situation as it seeks to entice other foreign opponents.

Pakistan has hosted only one global series since militants attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009, wounding six players and killing two civilians and six security officials.

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Sri Lanka are due to play a Twenty20 in October, and will be followed by the West Indies who are due to play a mini-series of three Twenty20s in November.

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