South Africa batsman Hashim Amla is looking forward to the three-match international series in Pakistan this week, saying he has only good memories of playing in the country.
Amla is part of a World XI that will T20Is in Lahore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in what is the most high profile series to be played in Pakistan since a Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by gunmen in 2009.
One of the world’s best batsman across all three formats, Amla is one of the few players in the World XI squad that has actually played international cricket in Pakistan.
Amla was part of the Proteas side that beat the hosts one-nil in a two-match Test series and then three-two in five ODI games in 2007.
The 34-year-old Amla said: “I am very excited to be visiting Pakistan. We all are really excited to be part of this tour, to be part of something special and be part of bringing cricket back to Pakistan.
“I have good memories in Pakistan. Been there to play Test series and we won that series. I have great memories of playing against Pakistan in Pakistan.
“Hope it will help bring cricket back in Pakistan, slowly and safely back to Pakistan. It will be good for world cricket. Pakistan has been a major role player in cricket fraternity.”
The series was given international status by the ICC and Amla expects the home team to be a formidable challenge.
Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England in June when they came into the tournament as the lowest ranked team.
Amla continued: “We played against Pakistan in Champions Trophy, they are very good team.
“They’ve always been a formidable team in T20s, everybody is going to enjoy the competition.”
The swing bowler completed the landmark at Headingley.
But the ICC has rejected claims the tournament will be postponed, insisting a number of contingency plans are being considered.
He will not return from his family home in Tasmania even if the delayed season gets under way later this summer.
No domestic cricket can take place until at least August.
An expanded training group of up to 45 is due to be named on Friday.
The governing body still aims to stage a shortened domestic season.
Professional cricket is on hold until at least July 1.
The tournament is scheduled to start on October 18 until November 15 in Australia.