Independence Cup 2017 Marks the Revival of International Cricket in Pakistan

 

12th September 2017 will be marked as a historical day in Pakistan cricket, as international cricket returns to homeland after a long wait of 9 years. The hard struggle of PCB is finally rewarded in the shape of Independence Cup 2017, a T20 International cricket tournament taking place in Lahore, Pakistan. The contest is named in commemoration of Pakistan’s 70 years of Independence.
 


Pakistan and World XI are the teams competing in the Independence Day series. The series comprise of 3 T20 internationals which will be played in Lahore. Pakistan team is lead by Sarfaraz Ahmed and World XI is captained by South Africa’s Faf du Plessis. The World XI side arrived in Lahore a day before the first match under high security. Pakistan XI squad comprise of young players out of which 10 players have not played previously in an international match at home.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed Richie Richardson as the match referee for the tournament. Another significant feature of this series is that ICC for the first time has sent an official to supervise cricket matches in Pakistan since 2009.The panel of on-field umpires appointed includes Aleem Dar, Ahsan Raza, Ahmed Shahab and Shozab Raza. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) introduced the #CricketKiHalalalahash tag for the series, which soon became a popular trend on social media among Pakistani fans.
 


 

Team Squads - T20 Internationals

Pakistan XI:


Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan

World XI:

Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morné Morkel, Tim Paine (wk), Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy
 


First T20

The opening match of the series was held on 12th September in Qadaffi Stadium Lahore. As promised to be a nail biting classic contest, which it actually turned out to be in the end. The thrilling battle is won by Pakistan team beating World XI by 20 runs. The win has given Pakistan team a lead in the three matches’ series. Babar Azam is the star of the opening match as he played his T20 career best 86 runs knock that enabled Pakistan to post a defendable total of 197 runs. Not just the batting was superb from Pakistan side, but they also managed to bowl well. All bowlers played their part well, Shadab Khan, Sohail Khan and Rumman Raees took two wickets each to give the World XI batting line-up a tough time. In response, World XI was able to finish at 177/7 from the 20 overs. On his blistering batting performance, Babar Azam is declared as Man of the Match.

Next Fixtures

The 2nd match of the series will be played on 13th September 2017, and third match will be played on 15th September 2017 at the same venue. Excitement doubles after the victory of the first match. Will World XI bounce back and come hard on Pakistan? Well, you have to wait to find out!

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