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INDEPENDENCE CUP 2017

Hassan declares his No.1 target

09 September 2017

Ali wants Amla // Getty

AFP


AFP


A host of international stars will play in Lahore but the young quick only has eyes for one batsman

Pakistani bowling sensation Hassan Ali said on Friday he wants to bowl out South Africa's Hashim Amla when he plays an international before a home crowd for the first time at next week's World XI tour in Lahore.

Ali, 23, the highest wicket-taker at the Champions Trophy which underdogs Pakistan won earlier this year, said he "can't wait" to take on the star-studded World XI in the three-match Twenty20 series.

Pakistan thrash India to claim Champions Trophy

It is the highest-profile international fixture to take place in Pakistan since a deadly militant attack eight years ago drove international cricket - and most other sports - from the country.

"This is my first international match on my home ground in Pakistan. I'm very excited to play in front of my home crowd on my home ground," he told reporters after a practice session at the stadium Friday. 

The attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009, which killed eight people and wounded nine, isolated Pakistan, forcing it to host its "home" fixtures in neutral venues. 

Ali said he was "sad" about this, but put the international players who are coming for the World XI on notice: especially Amla.

"The World XI is a good team, it has very good players, I will try to bowl well to all of them. Especially I would like to out brother Hashim Amla, it would give me more pleasure," he said.

He said he would partner with strike bowler Mohammad Aamir to take as many wickets as possible. 

"There are partnerships in bowling too just like batting. If one bowler in the pair is being thrashed, the other tries to contain, so there is no competition."

He said coaches were working on fitness and his reverse swing at training. 

Pakistan is preparing to deploy several thousand security forces in Lahore for the series, scheduled to begin on September 12.

The Independence Cup matches will be broadcast on PTV in Pakistan and fans across the border in India can watch the series on DSport after the new premium sports TV channel launched by Discovery Communications India acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for that country.