Saturday Sep 16 2017

World XI depart for home after historic Pakistan tour

LAHORE: Players and officials of the star-studded World XI departed from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Saturday morning, following a history-making tour to Pakistan which marked the return of high-profile international cricket to the country.

The players and the team staff will head to their respective countries via Dubai.

The squad was greeted warmly by the airport staff, who posed with the star players for photos and bid farewell to them.

World XI players stop for a group photo before leaving Lahore 

World XI captain Faf du Plessis thanked the airport security officials for all of their efforts and expressed well wishes for the Pakistani people.

“I am optimistic other teams will also come to Pakistan after this tour,” he said, adding that he was “proud to have played a part in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan”.

Du Plessis promised he would not hesitate to come to Pakistan again if given the opportunity in the future.

Pakistan celebrated the return of international cricket with a thumping 33-run win to clinch the final T20 match and the series against the World XI at the Gaddafi stadium on Friday.

Under Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan outplayed the World XI -- with cricketers from seven countries -- in Friday´s decider to match the important occasion by claiming the series 2-1. Pakistan had won the first match by 20 runs on Tuesday before World XI levelled the series with a seven-wicket victory in the second on Wednesday.

The hosting of the short series is a major step towards convincing international teams to begin touring Pakistan again, with Sri Lanka already due to play a T20 match in Lahore on October 29.