KARACHI: A 13-member ICC World XI side, led by South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, arrived at Allama Iqbal International Airport , Lahore in early hours of Monday, while Samuel Badree would arrive later to join the squad.
The Faf du Plessis-led World XI side comprised of five players from South Africa and also a selection of big names from six other test-playing countries in a series that has been given T20 international status as performances will count in the calculation of individual rankings, ICC said in a statement.
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.
A huge step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation, as all set to host the three-match Independence Cup Twenty20 series amid tight security against a star-studded World XI starting Tuesday.
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
Some 8,000 police and paramilitary forces will guard teams as they travel back and forth from Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Roads and shops will be closed around the 27,000-capacity venue, while spectators will have to pass through multiple security checkpoints.
The series will be the most high-profile 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) has 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.