Following a historic tour to Pakistan, which marked the return of high-profile international cricket to the country, players and officials of the star-studded World XI departed from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Saturday morning.
The players and the team staff of the visiting side will head to their respective countries via Dubai. The squad was warmly greeted by the airport staff, who posed for photos with the star players and bid farewell to them.
World XI captain Faf du Plessis thanked the airport security officials for all of their efforts and expressed well wishes for the Pakistani people. “I am optimistic that other teams will also come to Pakistan after this tour,” he said, adding that he was proud to have played a part in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.
Du Plessis promised he would not hesitate to come to Pakistan again if given the opportunity in the future.
Grant Elliott, who, in several interviews, has openly shared his love for Pakistan and how much he has been enjoying the visit to Lahore, posted on Twitter saying, “Time to fly and leave Lahore on the Emirates. Great group of team mates and proper memories. Thank you Pakistan.”
Pakistan marked the return of international cricket with a thumping 33-run win to clinch the final T20 match and the Independence Cup, a series against the World XI, at the Gaddafi stadium on Friday.
Under Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan outplayed the World XI – with cricketers from seven countries – in Friday’s ‘finale’ by claiming the series 2-1. Pakistan had won the first match by 20 runs on Tuesday before World XI levelled the series with a seven-wicket victory in the second T20 on Wednesday.
The hosting of the short series was a major step towards convincing international teams to begin touring Pakistan again, with Sri Lanka already due to play a T20 match in Lahore on October 29.
All the love and support that I got from the amazing people in Pakistan 🇵🇰 reminded me that I'm so blessed .It felt amazing ❤️ Thank you
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) September 16, 2017
— David Miller (@DavidMillerSA12) September 16, 2017