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Shahid Afridi feels Indian players would have further strengthened the World XI

12 September 2017

Afridi, who retired from worldwide cricket in February 2017, had previously posted a tweet as well, stating that having Indian players in the World XI would have been a welcome move.

Pakistan has not hosted top-level worldwide cricket since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.

Speaking at the media briefing after having the training session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, Imran Tahir said: "I have mixed feelings as I am very glad to be here and feeling great to play global cricket at home ground".

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Pakistan's most respected and distinguished cricket umpire Aleem Dar on Monday said that standing in his first T20 global at home is going to be a memorable feeling as he has never supervised a T20 match in his own country.

The Azadi Cup matches between Pakistan and World XI players starts tomorrow. "I think this is a brilliant thing, cricket coming back to Pakistan, so probably proud moment for everyone including me".

In what could be the resumption of worldwide cricket in strife-torn Pakistan, a World Eleven side landed in Lahore in the wee hours of Monday for a Twenty20 series against the hosts.

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"I send both teams and the PCB the very best wishes from the whole cricket family for a competitive series that the passionate fans in Pakistan can enjoy".

When asked about the participation of Indian players in the series, Sarfraz said: "It would have been great if they were here, but we are thankful to those who have come".

"We are looking forward to seeing a lot of you watching the great cricket that we are going to put on show and we had a warm welcome already", he said on arrival.

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It will be a blow to him - softened considerably by fatherhood of course - as it means he will not have played an worldwide in front of a home crowd since his debut over eight years ago. A prolonged process of persuasion took place which was tough but every player was enthusiastic to play against the Champions Trophy winning team of 2017. All three matches will he held in Lahore. "But as soon as we spoke to the people who were in control of the security, the a player all you want was that peace of mind and they gave it to us".

Pakistan will host a World XI cricket team for three T20 matches starting on Tuesday and hopes the series will herald the return of worldwide cricket to the country eight years after a militant attack on a Sri Lankan team bus. "There has been no top-quality cricket played here apart from the Pakistan Super League final and the Zimbabwe series two years back", Haroon Rashid, the Pakistan Cricket Board's director of cricket and former head selector, tells Wisden India.

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Shahid Afridi feels Indian players would have further strengthened the World XI