LAHORE: Star-studded World XI, led by South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, arrived at Allama Iqbal International Airport amid tight security early on Monday morning, ARY News reported.
The international players have arrived here a day before the much-anticipated three-match Twenty20 (T20) series against Pakistan gets underway.
A 13-member International Cricket Council’s (ICC) squad comprises of five players from South Africa and three from Australia.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi, sports minister Jahangir Khanzada along with other officials were present at Lahore airport to receive the Faf du Plessis-led World XI side.
All arrangements have been finalised to host the three-match Independence Cup Twenty20 (T20) series starting on Tuesday.
The series is being deemed as a huge step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation.
World XI Coach
After his arrival in Lahore, the World XI coach Andy Flower shared a video message in which he said to be glad for being in Pakistan. He thanked the people for a warm welcome at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport, adding that matches between Pakistan and World XI would be interesting and entertaining to the cricket lovers.
Giles Clarke, the ICC Director, who had visited Lahore in January was optimistic that the series will be the first step towards international cricket returning safely to Pakistan. The International Cricket Council has welcomed the World XI’s tour of Pakistan
Security beefed up
Security has been beefed up in the provincial capital and some 8,000 personnel of police and paramilitary forces will guard teams as they travel back and forth from Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
The series will be the most high-profile in the cricket-mad country since a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore left eight dead and drove away international cricket and most other sports.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have high hopes that the series will close that dark chapter for good — and allow a new generation of players to experience the thrill of playing before a home crowd for the first time.
SQUADS FOR WORLD XI TOUR OF PAKISTAN, 2017
Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan
David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla, Grant Elliott, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Tamim Iqbal, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Faf du Plessis(c)
1st T20I, September 12, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore at 8:30PM
2nd T20I, September 13, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore at 8:00PM
3rd T20I, September 15, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore at 8:00PM