News analysis |
The Qadaffi Stadium in Lahore will be packed as the first fixture between the World X1 and Pakistan will be played today. The much-awaited Independence Cup has merited attention from across the globe as it is a huge landmark in the return of international cricket to Pakistan.
Cricket is not being discussed and perhaps it will not be discussed. What’s important is the message and the cause
The star-studded World XI featuring the likes of Hashim Amla, captain Faf du Plessis, Darren Sammy and others will take on a buoyant and excited Pakistan team. Realizing the importance of the game beyond the realm of cricket, skipper Du Plessis said that he and all other players are playing for a great cause. He said: “As a cricketer, in a few years’ time, I will be able to look back and say that I played my part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan.”
The ace South African batsman said that it is one of those moments where one leaves a mark on something. Coach Andy Flower who had earlier said that he is feeling great in Lahore said: “The World XI looks forward to celebrating the return of international cricket in Pakistan. I’m sure our international stars will return home with happy memories.”
Cricket is secondary and perhaps tertiary; this event will go a long way in the image and narrative building, something which the country badly needs
The players are enjoying the razmataz and the love that they have received. Former England all-rounder and member of the World XI Paul Collingwood jokingly said in his Instagram post; “Amazing welcome in Pakistan, so nice that they have even initialed the poor after me.”
The lethal and legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis took to Twitter to tell their fans that they will witness history inside the Gaddafi Stadium.
Heading to the heart of the nation for what we anticipate to be an epic rebirth of our country’s beloved sport- Cricket! #CricketComesHome
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) September 11, 2017
Enroute 2 Lahore 4 #PAKvWXI I’m going pick up from where I left more than 8years ago. Join me tomorrow night and let’s make history! 🏏🇵🇰🎉🎈
— waqar younis (@waqyounis99) September 11, 2017
Meanwhile, heartthrob, Shahid Afridi whom fans so want to see one last time in front of a jam packed Qaddafi stadium will also dazzle the scene to watch the match. Many had expected Afridi to be given a farewell match in front of a passionate crowd in Lahore, but he had declined the offer.
The lethal and legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis took to Twitter to tell their fans that they will witness history inside the Gaddafi Stadium
Cricket is not being discussed and perhaps it will not be discussed. What’s important is the message and the cause. The optics that are attached with the extravaganza are those of a peaceful and vibrant country which has defeated the menace of terrorism. Cricket is secondary and perhaps tertiary; this event will go a long way in the image and narrative building, something which the country badly needs.