It is turning out to be a great year for Pakistan cricket. First, the surreal win at ICC Champions Trophy and then this big breakthrough in the shape of World XI tour. Sri Lanka and West Indies have also affirmed to follow suit and help bring back the nation's beloved sport.
The birthplace of reverse swing and doosra, the land which has produced some of the most prolific players the game has ever seen, a side that has produced many exhilarating contests and an unpredictable team that can leave even the most pessimistic fan in a state of awe will now witness a historic resumption of cricket. The jam packed crowds in the majestic Gaddafi Stadium will embrace cricket heroes like always and give a resounding message of peace and love to the world.
Past few months have been quite overwhelming for cricket lovers; the Champions Trophy win is still fresh in the minds, and now the high profile players, some of the very best in the business have packed their bags to entertain the fervent crowds in Lahore. This tour, if conducted smoothly will certainly mark the official comeback of cricket in Pakistan. The cricket starved country has been marred with security issues that deprived masses of watching their stars in their homeland. However, concerted efforts by civil-military leadership have improved the situation significantly and paved the way for the return of sporting events.
Hashim Amla, who is unarguably one of the best ODI batsmen, will show his finesse and his uncanny ability to find boundaries with ease. Whereas, Pakistan team would be wary of Eoin Morgan's ability to whack bowlers out of the park and weather the storm in crunch situations. The visitors have a batting heavy side lacking a lethal bowling attack barring Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel.
This tour couldn't have been possible without the creative genius of Najam Sethi and his team. Also, Giles Clarke , the ICC director who heads the Pakistan task team, has been the force behind this one of a kind tour. "Pakistan has been an important member of the ICC and the cricket community has felt its pain," Clarke had said.
Establishing Pakistan Super League has uplifted Pakistan cricket's standing in the world. Just after two editions, it is already reaping rewards by refining and bringing ahead quality players. Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, and Hassan Ali proved their mettle in the PSL and have become high profile players in no time. Every major league wants these match winners in their squad. These stars will now play in their backyard and we hope they fully utilise the home advantage and provide an engrossing cricket series.