World XI opt to bowl first against Pakistan


LAHORE: World XI skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to field first in the premier match of the Independence Cup series being played in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.
Speaking to Ramiz Raja after the toss du Plessis said, “It’s pretty new for all of us, we’ve got a long batting order and gives us an opportunity to look at the wicket. It’s an honour to lead the World XI. It’s not about ourselves, great to see we can play a small part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan. No egos.”
Sarfaraz, after losing the toss said, “We wanted to bat first anyway. The players are excited, many of them are playing for the first time. Our focus is on cricket, the past is the past. We have an excellent team.”
The two teams made their way to the stadium amid tight security. Upon arrival, the players were greeted with stands packed to the rafters with cricket enthusiasts who had started making their way into the stadium early Tuesday afternoon.
The World XI, led by South African skipper Faf du Plessis, reached Lahore in the early hours of Monday morning to play a three-match T20 series.
The matches will be staged at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on 12th, 13th and 15th September.
The World XI’s tour is a significant development for Pakistan, as the country has not hosted top-level international cricket — barring five limited over matches against minnows Zimbabwe in 2015 — since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.
South African du Plessis said on Monday that the international cricketers on his team were “playing for something bigger than the game itself” at a press conference upon arrival in Lahore
“You always try to find things to help you leave your mark — and this seemed like the sort of opportunity to do just that,” du Plessis had said, explaining the motivation behind his trip to Pakistan as the team’s captain.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had called the series “a proud moment” for the squad.
“We are playing in Pakistan after a long time. Luckily, I am involved in this event and that too as a captain,” he added.


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