All is set for Pakistan's T20I three-match series against Sri Lanka, which commences from Saturday (today) here at Gadaffi Stadium amid stringent security measures. This series comes with an opportunity for many youngsters to leave a mark with a year remaining in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. With this T20 series, cricket festivity returns to Lahore for the three T20 matches the Gadaffi Stadium is being given a new look with all the enclosures named after cricket legends being washed and plastic chairs get their original colour back after dusting.
Pitches are being prepared and the grass has been cut in different patterns as the ground wears a pleasant and beautiful look. For batsman Ahmed Shehzad, however, this is a chance to reclaim a spot which he once he held firmly. He last donned Pakistan colours in June 2018 in a T20I series against Scotland. To be back in the squad after a gap of over 14 months, Ahmed says, feels like to be wearing Pakistan's kit for the first time.
Ahmed Shehzad said, "I am thankful to the Almighty that I have gotten an opportunity to represent the Pakistan team once again; for me, this opportunity feels like I am wearing the Pakistan's kit for the first time. I am extremely excited I will get an opportunity to play cricket at my home ground and in front of my people. It cannot get any bigger for me to be playing cricket in front of my people. Our people are passionate about the game. It unites us and people pray for our success."
Ahmed said, "It is not easy to be making a comeback in the Pakistan side for the fifth-sixth time. Getting dropped again and again doesn't reflect well. But, where this is a negative, to keep coming back in the side is a positive. It demands ticking a lot of boxes and for that a lot of improvement has to be made. I have some fond memories of international T20 cricket, but this is a new beginning for me and I have to grab this opportunity with both hands and make sure I don't take anything for granted. T20I is my favourite, but my ultimate favourite is Test cricket. But, at the moment, I am looking to perform in whichever format I am getting chances."
Moreover, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has adorned the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore with a collection of memorable pictures from Pakistan's cricket history. The gallery, which can be found in the far-end corridor, captures some of the best moments from both the men and women's cricket teams. The centre of attraction remains the picture of Pakistan's first-ever series triumph on Indian soil in 1987 under the captaincy of Imran Khan.