Hashim Amla © AFP
Hashim Amla © AFP

Although Pakistan had the last laugh in the Independence Cup 2017, World XI had their share of overwhelming reception. Imran Tahir could not stop praising Pakistan, the place where he was born, to his World XI teammates, while skipper Faf du Plessis stated that their side felt safe at Lahore.

The buzzing crowd during the 3-T20I series cheered for every World XI player. However, of all, Hashim Amla was most cheered for, something he found surprising. One of the five South African players, who toured Pakistan, found his name being chanted in unison whenever he stepped out to bat.

“I have never experienced that and I think most of the [World XI] players have their name shouted out by the crowd at one stage or the other, it was quite surprising,” Amla told The Dawn. Amla was one of the main catalysts to guide World XI to their first win in the tournament with his classy unbeaten 55-ball 72 that comprised of 5 fours and 2 sixes. “The crowd support has been great here,” he added. Amla was glad to be part of World XI and gain the Lahore experience.

He went on to praise the hospitality as well, “The experience here has been fantastic, I speak for all the World XI players because we have been looked after really well. The hospitality and warmth we received from the general public has been overwhelming, we are happy that we came.”

Amla is all set to provide a positive response to Cricket South Africa (CSA). However, he is unsure about what will be the outcome – whether South Africa can tour Pakistan in the future for a bilateral series or no. “I am sure when all five of us go back; the South African cricket board will probably ask us about our experience here. And we all will be honest that we had a great experience. But I am sure there are a lot of other things that are going to be in place. It is not up to us; we will give our feedback and leave it to our boards and everybody else to decide.

“The intensity of the Independence Cup matches is just as much as can be expected in any other international match,” Amla concluded.