KARACHI: The arrangements, including that of security, made by the local administration in Lahore and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the three-match Independence Cup series between Pakistan and World XI have received a thumbs up from former South Africa Cricketer Hashim Amla.
Hashim was one of five South African cricketers who came to Pakistan with the World XI squad, led by his Protea captain Faf du Plessis.
The South African batsman says 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 told Geo.tv in an interview conducted via e-mail.
The 34-year old South African cricketer added that they were briefed before they arrived.
“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 PCB for the series.
The South African run-machine, who has an experience of 107 Tests and 156 ODIs, termed the World XI series as “big effort” by PCB in an attempt to restore international cricket in Pakistan.
“Our experience has been a good one,” he said when this correspondent asked him about the message to the international community.
“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 South African legend.
Hashim Amla also talked about his association with the Qalandars franchise in South Africa’s T20 Global League, which is set to commence this November and said that 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 added.
He also praised the Rising Stars program by Qalandars’ PSL team Lahore Qalandars.
“Simply astonished at the bravery to even conduct a talent search and social program of that magnitude,” he said, adding the expression of “wow” while commenting on the program which last year featured 113,000 participants and this year the number of aspiring Qalandars has increased from the last edition.
However, Amla said that he’s not likely to be available for Pakistan Super League’s season three early next year as he’ll be busy playing Test cricket for his country.
“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,” he concluded.