The World XI Team has arrived in Pakistan to play the Independence Cup 2017. The team reached Lahore in the early hours on Monday.
Faf De Plessis on World XI Team Participation in Independence 2017
Faf du Plessis, who is captaining the World XI team, stated that they have come to Pakistan for something a lot bigger than the game of cricket.
He added that he found the Independence Cup 2017 a rare opportunity to leave his mark. Therefore, he believes his participation in Independence Cup 2017 is a way to do just that.
He further said that whenever he looks back to this opportunity, he can say to himself that he did play a role in bringing back cricket back to Pakistan.
Furthermore, he said that the big names in the World XI Touring team are helping the return of international cricket to the country. He was hopeful that the Independence Cup 2017 would give the diehard fans a lot to cheer. Similarly, he added that he looks forward to celebrating the return of the international cricket in Pakistan.
ICC Chairman for Taskforce on Pakistan Cricket
Giles Clarke, the ICC Chairman for Taskforce on Pakistan Cricket, congratulated the country on this tournament. Furthermore, he stated that Independence Cup 2017 is a lot more than just cricket. Clarke also appreciated the role played by country’s security agencies, government, and Pakistani’ nation. He also thanked Andy Flower for his efforts in assembling a team of world class professionals to become part of the World XI team.
PCB Chairman on Independence Cup 2017
Najam Sethi was equally ecstatic and jubilant over the return of the international cricket in Pakistan. He added that it was more of a historic move than a cricketing event for the country. Sethi appreciated the efforts put in by all stakeholders including the Army Chief, Punjab Administration, and Giles Clarke. Furthermore, he added that PCB’s next goal would be to bring the entire South African team to play in Pakistan.
Security Arrangements for Independence Cup 2017
Around 8,000 paramilitary and police personnel will be overseeing the safety of the teams during their stay in Lahore. Law enforcement agencies will block access to all roads going to Gaddafi Stadium. The spectators will be passing through multiple checkpoints before entering the stadium.
The tragic 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team resulted in a prolonged isolation of cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies have made elaborate security arrangements to organize this event. The reports from Independent Security Firms as well as FICA (Federation of International Cricket Association) have expressed satisfaction over the security measures.
Why is Independence Cup 2017 So Important?
Since 2009, only Zimbabwe’s cricket team has come to play in Pakistan. However, the World XI team has some of the top Players from seven nations participating in the tournament. The team includes players from major testing playing nations. Najam Sethi, the PCB Chairman, has stated that this is just a start. He has already lined up Sri Lanka and West Indies to play in October and November.