Pakistan celebrated the return of international cricket to the country when it hosted a three-match T20I series between the Sarfraz Ahmed-led national team and a World XI side led by Faf Du Plessis at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Apart from Du Plessis, the team did feature a number of cricket stars such as Hashim Amla, Thisara Perera, George Bailey and former England captain Paul Collingwood.
While those in the stands did cheer for their beloved home side, there were quite a few banners thanking members of the World XI for agreeing to play the three matches. But there were also banners that bemoaned the lack of Indian stars such as MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli in the World XI. Tensions between India and Pakistan has frozen cricketing relations between the two countries but a fan in the stadium found a humerous angle to this situation. “Virat Kohli ko ammi ki ijaazat nahi mili (Virat Kohli didn’t get permission from his mother),” said a poster at the Gaddafi stadium.
This one 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/ITfb2T8dql
— Banana Leaks (@banana_leaks) 13 September 2017
Indian cricketers have a considerable following in Pakistan. “Yuvraj’s (Singh) popularity in Pakistan is massive. Even my father (the late Hanif Mohammad) was a great admirer of his stroke-playing panache. Fans here would have given Yuvraj a fabulous reception,” former Pakistan opener Shoaib Mohammad had said in an interview. India and Pakistan had most recently met in the ICC Champions Trophy at England. Two matches were played between the two teams. While India comfortably won the first match in the group stage, Pakistan humbled India in the final and thus won the tournament.