Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has admitted that if he is picked to play in next year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), it will give him the opportunity to show the world why it is safe for international cricket to be played in the country on a regular basis.
Amla, who retired from international cricket in August and recently signed a two-year Kolpak deal with Surrey, has entered his name in the platinum category for the PSL draft.
The preliminary foreign player Platinum pool for #HBLPSL Player Draft 2019 is here! More names coming soon. Who else do you want to see in action?
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) November 13, 2019
Amla has visited Pakistan before as part of the South Africa team and a World XI that travelled to the country in September 2017 in a bid to convince international teams to start touring the nation.
The 36-year-old admitted that he thoroughly enjoyed the passion shown by the Pakistani fans and is eager to represent one of the PSL franchises next year.
“If the opportunity arises, I am really looking forward to taking part in the PSL and am really excited about that prospect,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “During my time as a South Africa player, I did not get the opportunity to play for a PSL side due to my international commitments but now to get a chance to play in this tournament will be great.
“Playing in Pakistan will be a great honour for me as I have been there a few times in the past. My first visit was in 2007 when I toured the country with the South African team and then I was part of the World XI tour of Pakistan which happened about two years ago. I really enjoyed all those occasions and obviously Pakistanis went out of their way to welcome us there.
“What became clear to me each time I have visited Pakistan is how much Pakistanis love their cricket and it also shows us how much cricket means to them, and why they want Test cricket to come back to their country. This is also why I will be hoping that I get another chance to play in front of Pakistani crowds, if I am selected for one of the PSL sides.”
International cricket is slowly returning to Pakistan as Sri Lanka recently toured the country for a limited overs series in September to October, where they played three ODIs in Karachi and three Twenty20 Internationals in Lahore.
Pakistan will also host their first Test series in over a decade after Sri Lanka agreed to play two Tests in Rawalpindi from December 11 to 15 and Karachi from December 19 to 23.