Pakistan cricketers return home to warm welcome
Posted on: 01:46 PM IST Jan 08, 2013
Islamabad: The Pakistani cricket team returned home after completing a successful Indian tour as enthusiastic fans and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials accorded them a hero's welcome at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.
Pakistan squared the two-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series 1-1 and won the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series 2-1 against the World Champions during their first tour to India in five years. This is the first time since 2005 that Pakistan has defeated India on their homeground, reports Xinhua.
Dancing and chanting slogans in favour of national cricketers, fans showered rose-petals on the team as soon as they appeared outside the airport lounge. Speaking to media at the airport on Monday, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq gave credit to the performing youngsters and said he was happy with the team's overall show.
T20I skipper Mohammad Hafeez, who achieved top position in the ICC ODI rankings for allrounders on Monday, said he was proud of his achievement and dedicated the victory to the nation.
PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf was the centre of attraction at the airport as he not only showered praise on his cricketers but also introduced the future of cricket diplomacy with India. He said that Bangladesh Cricket Board has not refused to send its team to Pakistan.
This is only the third time in the history of Pakistan-India bilateral series after 1987 and 2005 where Pakistan have inflicted defeat on India on their home soil. Pakistan and India have locked horns in 30 ODIs on Indian soil with Pakistan winning 19 and losing 11 of them.
Pakistan's next international assignment is the tough tour to South Africa which gets underway from Jan 25 with the warm-up four-day match against South African Invitation XI at Buffalo Park in East London.