Bowling great Wasim Akram believes the historic Pakistan vs World XI series is more than just a game of cricket.
“It’s bigger than just winning or losing. No matter what the outcome of the series is, it’s more than just a game of cricket.
The ‘Swing ka Sultan’ said the three-match T20 series, dubbed the Independence Cup, is a historic event as international cricket finally resumes in Pakistan after a wait of eight long years, barring a brief tour by Zimbabwe in 2015.
“I welcome the World XI, it is a very good T20 team. But our boys make up a good T20 team and are very motivated after winning the Champions Trophy,” he said, adding that it was very difficult to predict who the favourite side is, as “any one over can change the outcome of a T20 match”.
Akram hailed the star line-up of the World XI team, which is led by South African skipper Faf du Plessis.
“Some really experienced cricketers are here in Pakistan. [Morne] Morkel can trouble the opposition with his pace, [Ben] Cutting is a great addition [to their bowling] and can trouble Pakistan. Imran Tahir is one of the best spinners in the world. In batting, there are the likes of du Plessis and Amla,” he said.
The former fast bowler said he spoke to South Africa’s Morne Morkel the other day, who told him about how different he has found Pakistan in reality.
“I spoke to Morkel and he told me that his image about Pakistan was different from reality,” Akram said, noting that the foreign players were heartened by the warm welcome they have received since their arrival in Pakistan.