Pakistan vs World XI: Akram Turns Nostalgic After Historic Game

Pakistan vs World XI: Akram Turns Nostalgic After Historic Game.

New Delhi: With the ICC World XI playing Pakistan in the first of the three T20s in Lahore on Tuesday, former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram went back in time and nostalgia took over. Pakistan has not hosted top-level international cricket since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.

Taking to Twitter, Akram wrote: “Well done Pakistan we put on a great show last night! Like once upon a time, in what seems like forever ago,there was again magic in the air.”

Well done Pakistan we put on a great show last night! Like once upon a time, in what seems like forever ago,there was again magic in the air.

Pakistan on Tuesday took a giant step towards reviving international cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in a match before excited crowds amid tight security.

The Twenty20 match, accorded international status by the International Cricket Council, is the first game of only the second series Pakistan has hosted since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.

Long before it began at 7:00pm (1400GMT), around 9,000 police officers and paramilitary forces were deployed to the area, cordoning off the team’s hotels and stadium.

But the large security presence did little to temper the enthusiasm of fans in the cricket-mad country.

“I came here early to watch the teams come but that was not possible due to security so I only watched them in the ground and it made my day,” said spectator Azfar Ali.

Pakistan hopes the series will showcase an improved security situation as it seeks to entice other foreign opponents. Sri Lanka are due to play a Twenty20 in October, and will be followed by the West Indies who are due to play a mini-series of three Twenty20s in November. Tuesday marked the first time that five of the Pakistan players — Ashraf, Zaman, Shadab, Raees and Hasan Ali — played an international match on home soil.

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