Meher Mohammad Khalil, a Pakistani bus driver who kept the nerves under fire to get the Sri Lankan team safe during an attack in 2009, is thrilled that the international cricket will finally return to Lahore.
Sri Lanka will play on Sunday in a Twenty20 International in the city of Pakistan and will be the first international cricket team to visit the nation since Zimbabwe in 2015.
In March 2009, the Sri Lankan team went to the Gaddafi Stadium in the second test, armed with guns, grenades and rockets. They hurt six players and a coach, killing eight Pakistani, including six policemen.
Khalil was celebrated as a national hero because he had got the team in the secure stadium. He was rewarded by the Pakistani government and invited to Sri Lanka, where he was awarded a brave medal and a reward of 35,000 dollars.
“There (in Sri Lanka) I did not feel like a Pakistani driver, I felt like I was President of Pakistan,” Khalil told Reuters TV.
“I could never have imagined in my life the kind of respect they gave me.”
“Our army has done so many operations and eliminated so much chaos that we can now, thank God, organize a game without security.”
After a 5-0 win against Sri Lanka in the one-day period, Pakistan will start the T20 duel series in Abu Dhabi before playing the final in Lahore.