Paul Collingwood is relishing the opportunity of playing for World XI in the cricket crazy nation of Pakistan. Speaking after the match Collingwood said that he felt like a kid in Christmas and said that the passion surrounding the game is special.
“Felt like a kid at Christmas.” I’m 41 years old and to actually have the feeling of being in a Twenty20 International again is something I am very excited about,” he said and added, “The last time I came to Pakistan, I understood that cricket in Pakistan is a religion. The passion and the atmosphere that you create in the ground is something special. I experienced that certainly in Karachi in 2005 and certainly, tonight was a great start to, hopefully, a series that we can still win. So I am very much looking forward to playing in the game.”
On his experience of returning to the field after a considerable period of time, he said, “I am very proud, I can tell you right now. I came out of the net session yesterday and it felt like I was playing international cricket again. That, to me, when I retired back in 2011 and to have that same feeling again, that anxiety and that intensity and all those things when you play for your country and they all come back again, so I am very excited about playing.”
On the atmosphere surrounding the first match, Collingwood said, “I think the intensity was there. Obviously, the crowd wasn’t 100% capacity but the noise they make, you can just sense in the ground that they were really enjoying Pakistan playing the game in their own country and you can sense something special. The way the World XI was received on the ground and on social media by a cricket-loving nation has been superb and to feel that atmosphere again. Hopefully, this is a small stepping stone for future cricket in Pakistan.”