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LAHORE (AFP): Meher Khalil earned fame and success after saving Sri Lanka’s cricket team from a deadly 2009 attack in Pakistan, but the bus driver calls the incident “tragic” and says it is best forgotten.

The 43-year-old will be one of the guests of honour at Lahore’s Gaffafi Stadium, when Pakistan play Zimbabwe in their first home international since the notorious incident. Khalil was driving the team’s bus when it was attacked by rocket launcher and machine gun-wielding extremists in an assault that left eight people dead and seven players injured.

The attack brought an end to international cricket in Pakistan, until Zimbabwe agreed to visit for a short series in Lahore which will be held under unprecedented security.

Khalil was feted after he held his nerve to drive the team to safety, and with reward money from Sri Lanka’s government and donations from well-wishers, he started his own bus company.