Pakistan fans, desperate for the return of international cricket to their country, have snapped up tickets for the three-match Independence Cup T20 series against a World XI.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s Pakistan will play their first limited-overs match since winning this year’s Champions Trophy tournament in the UK with three 20-over games in Lahore later this month.

The Pakistan Cricket Board marked the official release of tickets by setting up a countdown timer outside Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

 The tickets, which range in price from Rs500 to Rs6,000 (AUD$6 to $72), were in high demand.

The World XI, captained by South Africa leader Faf du Plessis, will play three matches under lights on September 12, 13 and 15.

The World XI features players from seven Test-playing countries, with Australia represented by former ODI captain and World Cup winner George Bailey, his Hobart Hurricanes teammate wicketkeeper Tim Paine and Brisbane Heat allrounder Ben Cutting.

Former Zimbabwe star and ex-England head coach Andy Flower has been named as the manager of the team.

Coincidentally, Zimbabwe was the last international team to visit Pakistan, playing an ODI series in Lahore in 2015. That has been the entire sum of international cricket in the country since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in March of 2009.

The Independence Cup matches will be broadcast on PTV in Pakistan and fans across the border in India can watch the series on DSport after the new premium sports TV channel launched by Discovery Communications India, acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for that country.

Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan

World XI squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy.