Lahore 11 Sept 2017 (Media)
The 14-member team barring, West Indies Samuel Badree arrived mid-night today at Allama Iqbal Airport, Lahore in Pakistan on board Emirates Airlines private flight EK 622 from Dubai. World Cricket heroes upon arrival were welcomed by Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi, Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmad and Director Domestic Cricket, Haroon Rasheed. 14th member of World XI Samuel Badree will be arriving today in Pakistan.
Andy Flower, the World XI coach and former Zimbabwe captain said “It’s great to be here.” “We are looking forward to seeing a lot of you watching the great cricket that we are going to put on show and we had a warm welcome already.”
“I hope international players will take back good memories from Pakistan,” he said.
Flower further mentioned that he is honoured for being nominated as coach of World XI. He also mentioned that during early days of Zimbabwe cricket, Pakistan helped a lot which helped Zimbabwe cricket to grow.
World XI captain Faf du-Plessis said that it is an honour for him to play in Pakistan. “I am thankful to Pakistani cricket fans and people for so much love and respect,” he added. “It is a moment of pride for me to captain World XI,” he added.
Captain Faf du Plessis led team will be playing three T20 matches with Pakistan Cricket team in Pakistan, all in Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium on Tuesday September 12, 13 and 15th.
Pakistanis celebrated the return of international cricket at home with the arrival of players from seven countries for a tournament, following a long pause over security concerns.
From airport, World XI team members were taken to hotel under tight security.
Since 2009, when Sri Lankan team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore, its only Zimbabwe team which toured since then. Pakistan sources blame Indian intelligence agency involvement in terror attacks in Pakistan.
Both the federal and Punjab provincial governments have deployed thousands of security officials to guard the teams on the routes from their hotel to the Gaddafi Stadium hosting the matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
“This series could not have been better timed,” said Pakistani former test captain and fast bowler Waqar Younis. “Pakistan produced a superb performance by winning the ICC Champions Trophy and the players deserve the opportunity to display their class at home venues.”
Pakistan’s 16-member squad includes Sarfraz Ahmad (captain/wicketkeeper), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Baber Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umer Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz,Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Amir Yamin, Muhammad Amir, Ruman Raees, Usman Shinwari and Sohail Khan.
World XI, eight countries top players included Faf du Plessis,Captain, (South Africa), Hashim Amla (South Africa), Samuel Badree (Windies), George Bailey (Australia), Paul Collingwood (England), Ben Cutting (Australia), Grant Elliott (New Zealand), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), David Miller (South Africa), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Tim Paine (Wicket keeper). (Australia), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka),Darren Sammy (Windies) and Imran Tahir (South Africa).