What's the story?
After being included in the World XI, former Caribbean skipper Darren Sammy has expressed his excitement about playing against Pakistan. He is glad to be contributing towards bringing cricket back in the country.
Sammy also believes that soon all the International sides will make full fledged tours to Pakistan.
Talking to reporters after the practice session of the World XI squad in Dubai he said, "I believe Sri Lanka and the Windies are also planning to travel to Pakistan, and if the government, the security agencies and cricket authorities there can keep the momentum going, it won't be long before we have full-fledged tours there."
He also affirmed that all the members of the team are excited to be a part of this fixture. "Pakistan is trying to bring cricket back safely and we are happy to be part of that. It is exciting. It is bigger than just cricket matches...it is bigger and will play a part in bringing cricket back in Pakistan", he added.
In case you didn't know...
Sammy was a part of Pakistan's cricket league earlier this year. He led Peshawar Zalmi to their first title win in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They registered a 58-run victory over Quetta Gladiators in a one-sided final held at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Sammy's 28 runs off 11 balls helped his team to put up a target of 147 for the opponents. However, the latter were bowled out for 90 runs as the Zalmi bowlers dismantled the rival's batting line up in mere 16.3 overs.
Back then, Sammy had also expressed that the experience of playing in Lahore was similar to playing in St Lucia (his homeland).
Sammy recalled his experience from PSL and shared it with his World XI teammates. He stated that the presence of these international cricketers confirms their willingness to participate in the series. He is also confident about receiving a lot of support from the fans and expects that they will recreate a PSL-like atmosphere.
Moreover, he assured that the members of the Faf de Plessis led World XI are aware that they are a part of something 'beyond cricket'. Thereby, it is an opportunity for him and his team to be a part of history and do their bit in the return of International cricket in Pakistan after eight years.
This week, the Pakistan and World XI team will meet for three T20s at the Gaddafi Stadium. Their first match is scheduled for Tuesday followed by the second and third match to be held on Wednesday and Friday respectively.
It is wonderful to see the cricketers hailing from different nationalities coming together to bring cricket back in a country that has been longing to host the game for almost a decade.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Government and the Security Administrators will have to ensure that there is no interruption in the game.
The future of cricket in Pakistan is quite dependent upon this three-match series. If they manage to conduct the entire tournament without any unfortunate incidents, they will regain the trust from their counterparts and Pakistan will soon witness other International sides visiting them without any hesitation.