The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy made its first public appearance in Pakistan on Wednesday at the iconic Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore as part of its global tour. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq received the prestigious trophy and said, “The ICC Cricket World Cup is the biggest global tournament for a professional cricketer. All teams are gearing up for this event and all our strategies are building up to prepare ourselves for the challenge.” Misbah, who hadn’t yet made his first-class debut when Pakistan won the title in Melbourne in 1992, added, “The Pakistan team’s victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 in Australia and New Zealand is still the most special sporting achievement in the minds of our cricketers and all cricket fans in Pakistan. As the event is returning to Australia and New Zealand, the level of expectation from us will be quite high. The whole team is focused on building our skill levels to face the most difficult challenge in world cricket and with the determination of the players and the backing of the millions of Pakistani fans, we hope to once again bring the thunder down under and rule the world.”
The trophy then visited Pakistan’s cricket headquarters at the Gaddafi Stadium, before it departed for Karachi where it was scheduled to be displayed at the National Stadium during the domestic Twenty20 competition. At the Gaddafi Stadium, the trophy was welcomed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Mr Shaharyar Khan. Pakistan has been placed in Pool B along with India, Ireland, South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After playing its opener against India (on 15 February in Adelaide), Pakistan will take on the Windies (on 21 February in Christchurch), Zimbabwe (on 1 March in Brisbane), UAE (on 4 March in Napier), South Africa (on 7 March in Auckland) and Ireland (on 15 March in Adelaide). This is the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy’s tenth stop-over since its journey began on 3 July. It is scheduled to arrive in the host countries in the first week of November.
The trophy has so far visited Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Afghanistan, while South Africa is its next destination. The trophy will also visit Zimbabwe, UAE and the West Indies.
Photo: Misbah-ul-Haq and Moin Khan pictured with the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy in Lahore