There are two things Pakistanis love more than themselves, cricket, and politics. Sadly, politics is only for the rich and influential, so Pakistanis put their faith in cricket, and when we talk about cricket, we do it religiously.
On March 3, 2009, Pakistani cricket suffered a setback that it hasn’t been able to recover itself from. On a sad day, the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by unknown assailants in Lahore, while they made their way to the Gaddafi Stadium on the team bus.
Terrorists opened fire on the bus from different angles. Many Sri Lankan players suffered injuries including Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera, who had already scored a double century in the match. Ever since the incident, almost all international teams had boycotted coming to Pakistan to play cricket.
8 years on, finally, the dark clouds are moving away and cricket is returning to the land of the green-shirts. When nobody expected, the cricket world went against all odds and announced that a World XI squad will be coming to Pakistan, returning the country its long due dose of cricket.
Stars like former New Zealand team player Grant Elliot has made a statement that cannot be countered by any evil that looms on Pakistan cricket. “I’ve never been to Lahore so I’m really looking forward to that. I suppose, going to Lahore will feel like I am going home,” said Elliot.
The World XI will play 3 T20 matches against Pakistan’s national team at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on 12, 13 and 15 September. The sudden change in international cricket’s heart has come after two successful Pakistan Super League tournaments, with the second one holding its final at the same venue as the World XI matches.
The team rosters are such:
So, get ready Lahore and Pakistan, because international cricket is finally coming home after 8 years and the World XI roster is just as excited as we are. Here’s to hoping that everything goes according to plan and there are no mishaps that further cast shadow on Pakistani cricket.