Afridi praises Zim's 'courage'

2015-05-19 18:18
Shahid Afridi (AFP)

Lahore - Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi has led his country in welcoming the Zimbabwe team on Tuesday and praised the visitors' "courage" after they became the first Test-playing nation to visit in six years.

Zimbabwe arrived early on Tuesday under top-level security, and are set to play two Twenty20 internationals on Friday and Sunday followed by three one-day matches on May 26, 29 and 31, all in Lahore.

"I am delighted to see the return of international cricket to Pakistan," Afridi said.

"It is like the spring of cricket after six years of autumn."

"The courage of the Zimbabwe team must be praised and they delighted our fans who have been waiting for international cricket for quite some time now."

Zimbabwe are the first Test team to tour Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009, killing eight people and leading to the suspension of all international cricket in the country.

The tour was almost called off last week after gunmen massacred 45 minority Shiites in the city of Karachi, but in the end Zimbabwe decided to go ahead.

ODI captain Azhar Ali, who made his debut in 2010 and has never played at home, added it was a dream come true for players like himself.

"I am elated at the return of cricket to Pakistan," Ali told AFP. "It will be a special day for player like me who have not played before their home crowds and don't know the taste of playing on our grounds."

Besides Ali, six other team members -- Umar Akmal, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Shafiq and Ahmed Shehzad -- have not played in home conditions.

"Our fans have been deprived of watching their stars on their home grounds and this coming series will give inspiration to the young players," Ali said.

"I pray that this tour goes without any problem so that more and more teams come and play on our grounds," he added.

Read more on:    shahid afridi  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.