Pak­istan’s T20 wins Faf’s praise

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

SOUTH Africa’s Faf du Plessis praised Pak­istan’s ef­fort in its bid to win back the con­fi­dence of for­eign cricket teams and re­sume in­ter­na­tional cricket back at home.

Du Plessis, the Proteas cap­tain, led a World XI in a three­match Twenty20 in­ter­na­tional se­ries in La­hore over the last five days as Pak­istan show­cased to the crick­et­ing world its ca­pa­bil­i­ties to host in­ter­na­tional matches af­ter eight years.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate there was a lot of plan­ning, a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of en­ergy spent in the plan­ning of this week,” du Plessis said on Fri­day.

“Ev­ery­thing was very smooth and very easy and we say ‘thank you’ for that.”

Pak­istan clinched the three­match se­ries 2-1, win­ning the de­ci­sive T20 by 33 runs in front of a bois­ter­ous ca­pac­ity crowd of 25,000 at the Gaddafi Sta­dium.

Play­ers from seven coun­tries were put to­gether in a World XI, with the com­bined ef­fort of the Pak­istan Cricket Board, the ICC, and Zim­babwe’s for­mer cap­tain Andy Flower, who came to La­hore as coach of the team.

Sev­eral thou­sand se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing armed sol­diers, guarded the sta­dium and the team ho­tel. Spec­ta­tors had to pass through at least four se­cu­rity check­points be­fore en­ter­ing into the sta­dium.

“I just loved see­ing the emo­tion on peo­ple’s faces, that’s some­thing that stood out for me,” du Plessis said.

“I’ve never been part of a game where there’s been so much emo­tions and ap­pre­cia­tive­ness from the crowd, when they are cheer­ing you as if you are play­ing at your own home crowd, so that’s very good to be part of.”

How­ever, he wasn’t sure whether a short tour by a World XI could con­vince his coun­try to re­sume play­ing bi­lat­eral cricket in Pak­istan.

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