Security comforts World XI on tour in Pakistan, says Faf du Plessis

ONE STEP AT A TIME Elliot who is also a part of the Pakistan Super League and plays for Lahore Qalandars believes this tour is a small stride towards return of international cricket to the country

Chairman Shashank Manohar on Monday welcomed the return of global cricket to Pakistan ahead of the Independence Cup taking place in Lahore this week.

Independence Cup is likely to be followed by Sri Lanka and West Indies tours to Pakistan in coming months if the global event proceeds successfully.

Earlier, the Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) Task Force on Pakistan Giles Clarke congratulated the Pakistani people over the revival of cricket in the country and said, "It is not just cricket, but much much more than that".

"It has been a long and tough journey as the PCB, Pakistan players and fans have been starved of the opportunity to stage, play and watch worldwide cricket in their own country".

The World XI team arrived in Lahore at 2 a.m. Pakistan on September 11 - complete with air cover and hundreds of police officers providing protection before the players were quickly escorted to their hotel.

The side who will be taking on Pakistan tomorrow consists of four retired players in Paul Collingwood, Grant Elliot, Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera.

Sarfraz expressed his resolve to inspire the team to success in the series and ruled out dependence on any particular player or department of the team.

In what could be the resumption of global cricket in strife-torn Pakistan, a World Eleven side landed in Lahore in the wee hours of Monday for a Twenty20 series against the hosts.

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Giles highlighted the successful finale of PSL League in Lahore which encouraged worldwide teams to play in Pakistan. "The wounds heal slowly, but they most definitely will, and these matches in Lahore will send out a message to cricketing nations around the world that we (Pakistan) too will be back to hosting countries and celebrating the much-loved game".

In most of the cricket playing countries, descriptions such as above would elicit no special reactions. "One day the whole Indian team will visit Pakistan", he said.

He stood as umpire in as many as 41 T20 worldwide games overseas but not in one match on the Pakistani soil.

The high-profile T20I series brings together several top-level competitors including three of the top five bowlers in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Players Rankings getting to display their wares. "Our responsibility has increased after winning the Champions Trophy".

The coach of the team Andy Flower said that he expects some good cricket in Pakistan.

The first T-20 of three-match Independence Cup series between Pakistan and World-XI will be held in Lahore on Tuesday. It will be after a gap of eight years that a top flight global game will be held in Pakistan.

"We hope Indian players do come in the future", Sarfraz added.

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