Shahid Afridi has expressed his disappointment over the absence of Indian players in the World XI team that will tour Pakistan this month. While the 37-year-old appreciated ICC's support in trying to revive Pakistan cricket, he added that Indian players would have made the series more interesting.
Pakistan’s image as an international sporting venue came under heavy scrutiny after an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 where a group of terrorists targeted the bus that was carrying the visiting players to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. After this incident, no international team, with the exception of Zimbabwe, has toured the Asian country.
Almost eight years after the attack, the ICC has shown their support for Pakistan by organizing a three-match T20 series against the World XI and the first match of the series will be played tomorrow in Lahore. However, due to the unfriendly relationship between India and Pakistan, no Indian players have been selected in the World XI team.
“If Indian players were a part of the World XI, it would have been good,” Afridi said in an interview to BBC Urdu on Monday.
“It is a significant moment for every Pakistani. Efforts to resume international cricket are bearing fruit.”
Afridi has supported the initiative taken by ICC and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to bring back international cricket to Pakistani soil. The other two matches will be organized in the same venue on October 13 and 15.
“We should be grateful to the ICC that supported the cricket board. International cricket should resume in Pakistan. Cricket was being greatly missed in Pakistan," the 37-year-old said.
This is the World XI squad that will play against Pakistan for the T20 matches:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Samuel Badree, Darren Sammy, George Bailey, Tim Paine, Grant Elliott, Thisara Perera, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Tamim Iqbal.