Cricket stars hail AB de Villiers’ decision to tour Pakistan

KARACHI: Praising South African AB de Villiers’ decision to play PSL matches in Lahore this season, former stars from West Indies, England and South Africa have said that cricket atmosphere in Pakistan has always been very great and fans in country are hungry for more Cricket. AB de Villiers had earlier announced that he will play Lahore Qalandars’ back to back matches in Lahore on 9th and 10th March after playing the initial matches in UAE. While fans and cricketers at home have expressed excitement over the decision, international players are also happy to see cricket returning to Pakistan. Former West Indian captain and PSL team Zalmi’s skipper Daren Sammy said that excitement and enthusiasm of Pakistani fans are second to none. “I played in Lahore and Karachi in 2017 and 2018 and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The excitement and enthusiasm I saw in Lahore and Karachi was second to none and it just drives home the fact that this game is what it is because of these lovely fans,” he said in a statement issued by PCB “De Villiers is a champion cricketer and I am excited for the players who will get to experience playing in Lahore with him and for the thousands of crazy Pakistan cricket fans who, I am sure, will line-up in huge numbers to see AB play,” the World T20 winning West Indian captain added. De Villiers’s long-time team-mate JP Duminy said that he hopes his former captain will enjoy Lahore as the public sentiment and passion for the game has increased substantially since South Africa last toured in 2007. “I am delighted that AB has decided to play Lahore Qalandars’ matches in Lahore on 9 and 10 March. I am sure when he takes the field, he will be amazed to see the electric atmosphere, passion and excitement in the crowds,” said Duminy, who captained Islamabad United in PSL 2018 final in Karachi. “The March visit will also allow AB to sense the status and respect he commands in this part of the world, as well as the impact he has made on Pakistan cricket. These people love cricket and have tremendous respect for high-performing cricketers like AB,” the South African cricketer added. He also highlighted the fact that Pakistan Super League is getting bigger and bigger and it is very important for the league that matches are being played in Pakistan. “PSL is a tournament which is growing fast, and with its successful staging in Pakistan, prospects of international cricket returning to the country have also brightened,” he said. “I am sure when AB will look back at his glittering and marvellous career, he will say with pride and satisfaction that he also played a part in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.” Duminy added. England’s fast bowler Chris Jordan, who will represent Peshawar Zalmi, also backed AB saying that he is glad AB de Villiers was able to make this decision of touring Pakistan. “The love and appreciation that we received when we played in Lahore and Karachi was beyond amazing, Pakistani fans just love their cricket and to be able to experience that is something I cherish till date and look forward to this year as well. I am sure AB will have a very similar experience.” Jordan said. “When you play in Pakistan, it just puts into perspective what an entire generation of their fans has missed out on and, seeing how the fans are reacting to this news, clearly it means a lot to them that AB will be playing in front of them. AB de Villiers is a great addition to this group of international cricketers who want to see international cricket return to Pakistan,” he added. The 4th edition of Pakistan Super League will commence in UAE on February 14th with 8 matches scheduled to be played in Pakistan, three in Lahore while five – including the final on March 17th – in Karachi.  
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