Dubai: The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy made its first public appearance in Pakistan on Wednesday at the iconic Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore as part of its global tour.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq received the prestigious trophy at the Minar-e-Pakistan and said: "The ICC Cricket World Cup is the biggest global tournament for a professional cricketer. All teams are gearing up for this event and all our strategies are building up to prepare ourselves for the challenge."
Pakistan had won the title in Melbourne in 1992 and Misbah said, "The Pakistan team's victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 in Australia and New Zealand is still the most special sporting achievement in the minds of our cricketers and all cricket fans in Pakistan.
"As the event is returning to Australia and New Zealand, the level of expectation from us will be quite high. The whole team is focused on building our skill levels to face the most difficult challenge in world cricket and with the determination of the players and the backing of the millions of Pakistani fans, we hope to once again bring the thunder down under and rule the world."
The trophy then visited Pakistan's cricket headquarters at the Gaddafi Stadium, before it departed for Karachi where it was scheduled to be displayed at the National Stadium during the domestic Twenty20 competition.
At the Gaddafi Stadium, the trophy was welcomed by the Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Shaharyar Khan, who said: "The ICC Cricket World Cup is cricket's premier global event. Pakistan, Pakistanis, our passionate cricketing fraternity and the Pakistan Cricket Board are most pleased to showcase the trophy of the event which will be staged in the Antipodes.
"In keeping with its standing as a top cricketing nation, the green shirts are expected to do well in next year's competition as well."
Pakistan has been placed in Pool B along with India,
Ireland, South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates.
After playing its opener against India (February 15 in Adelaide), Pakistan will take on West Indies (February 21 in Christchurch), Zimbabwe (March 1 in Brisbane), UAE (March 4 in Napier), South Africa (March 7 in Auckland) and Ireland (March 15 in Adelaide).
This is the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy's 10th stop-over since its journey began on July 3. It is scheduled to arrive in the host countries in the first week of November.
The trophy has so far visited Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Afghanistan, while South Africa is its next destination.
The trophy will also visit Zimbabwe, UAE and the West Indies.