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‘Pakistan are a hugely-talented nation’
Independence Cup

‘Pakistan are a hugely-talented nation’

Ahead of the ICC World XI’s tour of Pakistan for a three-match T20I series in Lahore, Paul Collingwood in his blog for has called Pakistan to be a hugely-talented nation.

The former English captain wrote: “I have to say I’m not surprised that they still topped the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings last year and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, because when it comes to cricket, they’re a hugely-talented nation.”

Pakistan haven’t hosted international cricket on its soil since the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009. They have been forced to stage their home matches at the United Arab Emirates, depriving them of the crucial home advantage.

“You can only imagine how demoralizing it must have been for Pakistan’s players during the last few years,” wrote the 41-year-old.

" It’s an opportunity to show and prove that they can hold big fixtures in their own country once again. "

Talking about the cricketers interacting with the local people and exploring different parts of the city, Collingwood said that various limitations won’t let him do the ‘tourist things’ like he did 12 years back.

“Time is limited and the security will be high, so unfortunately we won’t be able to do the tourist things I did when I went there 12 years ago and we understand that.”

Collingwood added that the former Zimbabwean skipper first contacted him a couple of months back to see if he can entertain the idea of touring Pakistan.

“Andy [Flower] would have asked a lot of players if they were keen and, thankfully at 41, I’ve been able to make it, which is something I’m really proud of.”

The PCB is bearing all of the expenses of the World XI side, that will be led by the South African Test and T20I captain Faf du Plessis. The players are expected to earn around $ 100,000 for the three matches to be played on Sept 12, 13 and 15.

However, money is not the sole motivation behind his visit to Pakistan.

“Trying to help Pakistan is important for cricket – and no-one can pretend the money isn’t great - but, added to that, playing them in their own back yard also really floated my boat.”