ICC Trophy Tour: A memorable experience for Pakistanis

Fans overjoyed after witnessing cricket’s biggest prize from such a close distance

ICC Trophy Tour: A memorable experience for Pakistanis PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup trophy’s tour of Pakistan has come to an end but the local fans are still engulfed in its aura, after having witnessed cricket’s biggest prize from such a close distance.  

The trophy tour began in Pakistan on October 3 when it arrived in Lahore where it was held up by cricketer Mohammad Irfan and paraded on a bus, starting from the Gaddafi Stadium, through the streets of Lahore.

On the next day the trophy travelled to Government College University (GCU), the historic Wagah Border and finally at Shaukat Khanum Hospital. From there it went to the Federal Capital, Islamabad, where it remained on display for two days before reaching its final stop in Karachi.

In Karachi its tour began from the National Stadium and then it was taken to Mohatta Palace, Frere Hall and finally at Moin Khan Academy in the presence of former wicketkeeper-batsman and part of 1992 World Cup winning team Moin Khan.

On the last day it was displayed at the Dolmen Mall, Clifton for the fans.

Lahore fans overjoyed

A cricket fan in Lahore, Hassan Latif was super excited when he saw the trophy in the hands of Irfan.

“I was so excited to see the trophy it was shining and I started wondering whether Pakistan would win the World Cup. I hope this dream comes true and we get to follow the real trophy after our heroes bring it back home,” he said while talking to the The Express Tribune.

He added: “I followed the trophy and tried to get a closer look of it but wasn’t able to but I’m still happy that me and all my friends got to see the trophy.”

Karachi fans surprised

In the city of lights Karachi — which has a rich history of producing great cricketers for the national team — many fans were surprised when the trophy reached Dolmen Mall.

“We had no idea that the trophy would be coming here. I came here after school with my parents having lunch and saw that the trophy was here,” said the 13-year-old cricket fan Mohib Asad.

He further said: “I have been following the tour of the trophy in Pakistan and was waiting for it to come here. But unfortunately didn’t get a chance to see on the first day and I didn’t knew that it was coming here on second day. This was a surprise for me and I am happy that I was able to see the trophy.”

Another fan Minhaj Abid — who plays club cricket in Karachi — used this moment to express his desire about representing the national team in the future.  

“As a player I know what the worth of this trophy is and when I saw it, it gave me goosebumps. This has given me more motivation to focus on my game and make it to the national team and then hold this trophy in my hand one day,” he said.

The trophy tour began on August 27 from the ICC headquarters in Dubai. During the nine-month tour, the trophy will travel not only to countries taking part in the tournament, but for the first time ever it will go beyond traditional cricket heartlands and connect with fans in a further 11 countries where cricket is growing which includes Nepal, United States of America (USA) and Germany.

During its journey, the trophy will visit iconic and unusual locations, communities, schools, universities and even some homes in a bid to connect people globally in what will be the most unique and most accessible trophy tour to date.