Lahore (Pakistan) – Pakistan welcomed the World Cup trophy as it arrived in the country on a global tour Tuesday, with skipper Misbah-ul Haq vowing to win it for the isolated nation and its terror-hit people.
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) sent the most coveted trophy in the game on tour to spark interest ahead of the tournament, which will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29, 2015.
Misbah said he wants to win the Cup for Pakistan cricket fans.
“I want to win the Cup for my people next year,” said Misbah. “I am sure my team will give happiness to my people who have not seen any international cricket at home for years now.”
Pakistan have been left isolated at the world level since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
The attacks, which killed eight people and left seven visiting players injured, suspended all cricket in Pakistan.
A month later the ICC banned Pakistan from hosting any 2011 World Cup matches, forcing the country to play all its international cricket on neutral United Arab Emirates venues.
Misbah recalled Pakistan’s only World Cup triumph in 1992.
“I still remember those golden moments when Pakistan won the World Cup,” he said. “That event was held in Australia and New Zealand and this time too the event will be held in these two countries.”
Pakistan will play its opening match against title holders India in Adelaide on February 15.
After visiting 12 countries over four months, the trophy will arrive in Melbourne on November 6 in time to mark 100 days until the tournament.
Moin Khan, a member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning team, voiced the excitement felt among fans at the trophy’s arrival in the country.
“People are very happy at the trophy’s visit,” said Khan. “We can replicate the win of 1992 as we have a good team and with this trophy’s visit a huge interest will develop in our people and they will pray for our victory.”
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