ISLAMABAD: The arrangements, including those concerning security, made by the local administration in Lahore and the Pakistan Cricket Board for the Independence Cup T20 series staged between Pakistan and the ICC World XI early this month have received a thumbs up from South African batting maestro Hashim Amla.
Talking to a private news channel, Amla said hospitality in Pakistan made him feel at home during his stay in the country.
“It was great. The people in Pakistan were so welcoming and really made the World XI team feel at home,” Amla said.
The 34-year old added the World XI players had been briefed before they arrived in Lahore.
“That’s when we understood how much planning had gone into this event to give it the best chance of succeeding,” Amla added while expressing his satisfaction with arrangements made by the PCB for the much-awaited series.
The South African run-machine termed the World XI series as “big effort” by the PCB in an attempt to restore international cricket in Pakistan.
“Our experience has been a good one,” he said. “Slowly with time the confidence will build again. The PCB made a big effort and if they continue to do so then things will only improve,” added the right-hander.
Amla also talked about his association with the Qalandars franchise in South Africa’s T20 Global League, which is set to commence this November, saying he’s amazed at the passion and vision of the franchise owners.
“I didn’t know what to expect when the owners were announced and to be honest I have been amazed by their vision and passion,” he said. “I am quite excited and look forward to the selfless and fearless ethos which is the backbone of the franchise.”
Amla said he’s not likely to be available for the third edition of Pakistan Super League early next year as he’ll be busy representing South Africa.
“It is unlikely as we have Test matches planned during that time next year. If at a later stage I am free and the opportunity arises then why not,” Amla concluded.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2017