LAHORE - World XI captain Faf du Plessis has said that he was delighted to see the international cricket back to Pakistan as the three-match T20 series ended on a successful note.

“It was a great honour for me to lead a World XI side and we are glad to see quality and exciting cricket at the Gaddafi Stadium and the home side played tremendously to win the Independence Cup,” he said this during a post-match media talk on late Friday night.

The South African captain said that he along with the entire team enjoyed their stay and playing cricket in Pakistan and they would bring back sweet and momentous memories. “We are happy that international cricket has finally returned to Pakistan as players for different countries joined hands for that good cause,” he added.

Lauding the performance of Pakistan team during the entire series, Du Plessis termed it a strong side which has young blood. “In today’s match, their bowlers performed very well and restricted us from chasing the total which indicates that it is strong team and its batsmen also played good innings to put us under pressure,” he said.  When asked if the World XI get a chance to visit again to supplement the efforts of the PCB for having international cricket activity in Pakistan, the World XI captain said: “It was a historic and memorable series, which we all enjoyed a lot and we are impressed with the love, care and hospitality of Pakistani people. Yes, I would love to visit Pakistan again if get a chance.

"All the three matches were very interesting and we are expecting to make a comeback today’s game, the way we did in the second game, but unfortunately, we could not achieve what we were planning,” he added.

Du Plessis lauded the energetic crowd and said it was very thrilling to play in front of such a lively crowd. “The crowd was very passionate and energetic and they not only support and cheer the local team but also supported us well, which is highly commendable.”

The South African skipper admitted that he was nervous ahead of the World XI tour of Pakistan but praised the hosts for ensuring a safe series which he said would help its revival of international cricket. "When I first thought of coming, obviously there was little bit of nervousness within myself. Now going through this week with complete different emotions and feelings, I'm very happy with our time here, we've really enjoyed it as a team," he said.

Du Plessis said he was deeply impressed by his time in Lahore but was not sure he could convince South Africa to tour just yet. "I can just relate my experiences over here, but they will have to be a complete different set of things put in place for South Africa to come and tour here. What I can say is the fact that we've been in Lahore here now and we did feel safe," he said. "If you do out all those things that were in place (for this series) then definitely another step, another step, another step, to hopefully (bring) cricket back into Pakistan,” he added.

World XI coach Andy Flower agreed Pakistan was making progress towards reviving international cricket. "This is the step taken in the right direction. This is one step forward, it's been very successful and very well received here in Pakistan, here in Lahore," said the ex-England coach, who assembled a World XI with players from seven countries.

"The coverage of the three games around the world has gone down very well. The security operations has made players safe and secure, so first step has been taken so there will be more steps along the way," said Flower. "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," he added.