‘Glad that cricket has returned to Pakistan,’ says Hassan Ali

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Pakistan’s Champions Trophy star Hassan Ali lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the organisers of the Independence Cup for the successful of the first T20 match yesterday.

While speaking to DawnNews Hassan said, “There was a bit of pressure in yesterday’s match because we were playing in front of our home crowd and against World XI,”

He added: “But we had a great game, everyone was in good form and the crowd enjoyed a lot. We are all glad that cricket has returned to Pakistan.”

Pakistan thrashed a star-studded World XI team by 20 runs in the premier match of the Independence Cup series at Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium on Tuesday.

On the other hand, West Indies cricketer and Peshawar Zalmi star Darren Sammy said the World XI team is determined not to repeat the mistakes made in Independence Cup’s first T20 match that took place against Pakistan on Tuesday.

Talking to DawnNews on Wednesday, Sammy appreciated Pakistan’s performance and admitted that the hosts had outplayed the World XI team in all three departments.

However, he assured that his team still had the potential to make a comeback and they are set on winning the second T20, that will take place in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

The all-rounder expressed his satisfaction at the security arrangements made for the Independence Cup series and admired the hospitality of the Pakistani people.

The Independence Cup is the first major international cricket event in Pakistan after a hiatus of nearly eight years, when the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists in 2009, which shut all doors of international cricket in the country.

With much persuasion, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) managed to bring international players to Pakistan, and the International Cricket Board chose players from top cricketing nations to compile a World XI lineup for a three-match Twenty20 tournament in the hopes of reopening the closed doors of international cricket in Pakistan.