Du Plessis hails Pak progress

- Agence France-Presse, LAHORE

Sep 17, 2017-

South African skipper Faf du Plessis Saturday admitted 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.

Apart from five limited-overs games against Zimbabwe in 2015, Pakistan had not hosted top-level international cricket since militants attacked bus of visiting Sri Lankan in March 2009, killing eight and wounding seven players and staff.

“When I first thought of coming, obviously there was little bit of nervousness within myself,” said du Plessis, who led the World XI for the Twenty20 three match series. “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 told an end-of-tour press conference.

Pakistan celebrated the return of international cricket with a thumping 33-run win at Lahore on Friday to clinch the series 2-1. Hosting the short series is a major step towards convincing international teams to return, with Sri Lanka already due to play a Twenty20 match in Lahore on October 29.

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,” he said. “What I can say is the fact that we’ve been here now and we did feel safe.”

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.

 

Published: 17-09-2017 07:39

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