Tim Paine says he thoroughly enjoyed his time playing with the World XI in a whirlwind tour of Pakistan.
The World XI – which was comprised of some of the best T20 players from around the world – was the first to tour the country since 2015, and just the second touring party to visit Pakistan since 2009.
Despite the players being restricted in their movements when they weren’t on the field, Paine said it was great to take cricket of an international standard back to the country.
“It was fantastic to see the Pakistan people and how much they embraced not only the Pakistan team but they were really supportive of our team as well,” he said.
“They’ve been starved of international cricket for a long time so for us to be a part of trying to take it back to that region is something that I’ll remember fondly once I’ve finished playing cricket.”
Paine said despite a heavy security presence, he enjoyed his time in the country.
“It was really good. Security was at a very high level so it was nice to go over there and give the Pakistan players and locals some international cricket,” he said.
“It was carried out really well by the Pakistan Cricket Board and the security firms in charge.”
The World XI playing group attracted an enormous security contingent whenever they travelled from their hotel to the stadium.
“It was extraordinary. I’ve been on a few international tours and certainly haven’t seen anything to that level,” Paine said.
“There were hundreds of police and private security involved, so it was a pretty serious operation.”
Paine said he and his World XI team mates spent a lot of time brainstorming about cricket and enjoying each other’s company during their four-day visit.
“George Bailey and I played a lot of FIFA, so our game there certainly improved,” he laughed.
“We were around some really high-quality international cricketers so we just hung out, talked a lot about cricket and swapped ideas, so it was a really beneficial trip for all the players involved.”
Paine will head to India shortly to take his place in Australia’s T20 squad.