LAHORE (NNI): Coach of the visiting ICC World XI, Andy Flower said on Monday that the prime objectives of the World XI tour to Pakistan are to participate in the celebrations of 70th anniversary of the independence, to play its part in the revival of international cricket and to play exciting cricket in front of the Pakistani people.
“The brave Pakistan nation was deprived of the international cricket during past years in which it suffered a lot due to suspension of international cricket and the visit of the World XI is a ray of hope for resumption of international cricket”, he told media men at a news conference at a local hotel in the presence of World XI Captain, Faf du Plessis.
He said the time has come that they (Pakistani people) will be delighted to see the return of international cricket after a long gap and it will be a special day in Pakistan cricket.
“We as the World XI offer our sympathies and condolences with those people who have lost their loved ones in terrorist acts in Pakistan”,he said.
Andy said Pakistan has strong heritage and culture and it is known in cricket worldwide. “The visit of World XI has its own significance in bringing back international cricket”, he said.
Answering a question, he said, a lot of efforts were made to form the World XI which has the best cricket talent in its rank. “Exciting cricket will be witnessed during the few days between two top teams of the world”.
World XI coach said he has strong connections and ties with Pakistan Cricket and he has the experience of being associated with a team in the PSL and he enjoys his association with cricket in Pakistan.
He termed the visit of World XI “the first step” for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan and expressed the hope that more foreign teams will visit Pakistan after the success of World XI tour.
“As a coach I feel delighted to be a part of World XI which comprises talented cricketers from many countries”,he asserted.
Answering a question, regarding absence of Indian players from the World XI, he said the time was short for the selection of the team besides Indian players were not part of the team due to political reasons.
To a question he said during the past years Pakistan cricket team achieved many mile stones despite suspension of international cricket and visit of the world XI comes as a way celebrate Pakistan cricket teams progress and success in the game.
To a question he expressed the optimism that World XI will rise to the occasion and display quality cricket to put Pakistan which is a talented tam under pressure.
South African captain of the World XI , Faf du Plessis said he was honoured to be the captain of the World XI whose visit will help in breaking the dead lock of international cricket in Pakistan.
“It was my wish that international cricket should return to Pakistan and my family also supported and encouraged me to visit Pakistan and I am thankful to the people of Pakistan for their passion for cricket and hospitality being extended to the World XI”, he said.
To a question he said it is the Cricket South Africa to give permission to its team to Pakistan in future and as South African captain he will play his role to convince the South African cricket authorities to send their team to Pakistan.
He said Pakistan was rich in cricket talent which was evident from Pak team’s achievements in the field of cricket and the people of Pakistan want to see international cricket being played in their own backyard.
“Hopefully the game lovers in Pakistan will be witnessing good cricket in the T20 matches”, he said.
The World XI said the tour of his side to Pakistan was for a cause which was the resumption of cricket in Pakistan and he accepted being part of the team when he was offered the captaincy of a star studded side. “World XI is a blend of talented cricketers belonging to different countries”.
He rejected a questioner that it will be difficult for his team to adjust with the playing conditions in Pakistan saying “Nowadays players are playing cricket in different parts of the world and they know the conditions well but the main point is that world XI is not a team of a country it has players from different countries and what is important for us it to gel into a good combination to get good results”.