KARACHI: Former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, who is a part of the Faf du Plessis-led World XI side, has said that he is eagerly looking forward to experience the excitement of playing in front of the Pakistan crowd for the second time this year during the upcoming three-match T20I series.
Sammy, who led the Caribbean side to two World T20I titles, said that he has a great connection with Pakistan as he is just going back to the place, where he had played the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final.
“Everybody here has accepted that they are part of something more important that just their self. For me it’s a place where I have great connection with and I am going back there where I played in the PSL final earlier this year,” the Gulf News quoted Sammy, as saying.
The 33-year-old further said that he would love to be a part of the history and is looking forward to give Pakistan fans the experience of watching cricket at their home turf.
“If we could be a part of history, with the greater purpose of helping the friends in Pakistan watch cricket again, it would be a wonderful thing,” he said.
Sammy, who appeared for Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 5 this year, revealed that he had already briefed his teammates about playing in the country and the security they had got during their visit.
“I briefed them about my experience in Lahore during the PSL final. We had the best security team there. For me, I also get to play with friends in the St. Lucia team and also those across the world, and be able to see again how passionate the Pakistan crowd is. We are all happy to be a part of it,” he said.
When quizzed if it would be difficult for the World XI to take on the Champions Trophy winners, Pakistan, the all-rounder refused the same saying that it is a completely different format.
“It is a different format that they [Pakistan] won. It was a one-day tournament in England and I covered that tournament [as commentator] for OSN. It revealed the role that PSL has done in developing talent in Pakistan. Stars like Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman all came through the PSL and went on to make a huge impact for the national team,” Sammy said.
Sammy, however, refused to take their opponents lightly.
“So we are not going to take their cricket lightly. We know it is a tournament for a bigger cause, but cricket is the most important thing and the squad they put in for the World XI is strong and we stand our chances,” he said.
“Hopefully we will have exciting matches where the fans are entertained and everybody goes back home, proud of the small step they have taken to bring in cricket safely back to Pakistan,” the Caribbean player added.
The World XI includes five players from South Africa, three from Australia, two from the Windies, and one each from Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
The first two T-20Is between World XI side and Pakistan will be played on September 12 and 13, and the final game will be played on September 15 at the Gaddafi Stadium.
It should be noted that no Test side has toured Pakistan since March 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, killing six Pakistani policemen and injuring some of the visiting players.
However, the low-ranked sides, namely Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, had toured the country for a limited-over series.