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South African Du Plessis to lead World XI against Pakistan XI in T20I Series

Aug 24, 2017 | Cricketingnepal |

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced 14-men squad of World XI which will play three T20 Internationals against Pakistan in Pakistan in September this year.

The team will be led by South Africa test Captain Faf du Plessis. The World XI will have five players from South Africa. Likewise, three players from Australia, two from West Indies and one each from Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka has been included in the team. But there is not even a single player from India.

World XI will play against Pakistan XI at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on 12th, 13th and 15th September with name Independence Cup.

Former captain of the Zimbabwe cricket team, Andy Flower will be the coach of World XI. The left handed batsman was also a former coach of England cricket team. World Xi will attend a two day camp in Dubai before arriving Lahore on September 11.

Apart from Zimbabwe team none of the team has travelled to Pakistan after an attack against Sri Lanka back in 2009. The Pakistan Cricket Board has been doing their best to invite teams in Pakistan to play bi-lateral matches. Since 2009 Pakistan's home ground has been UAE where they play all of their home matches.

Pakistan after winning the Champions Trophy held in England earlier this year, defeating their arch rival India, ICC had announced that they will work to bring cricket back in Pakistan.

World XI captain Faf du Plessis said: “I am honored to have been appointed as captain of such a diverse, attractive and well-balanced side. Like most of the players, I look forward to my maiden tour to Lahore and play my part in the safe and gradual resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.

“All the members of the squad have complete faith and trust in the assessment and judgement of the security experts, who have assured us that there will be no comprise on the safety and security of all those involved in the series. As professionals, we are getting paid to play in the series, but the bottom-line is that if we didn’t feel safe, no amount of money would get us there. In this background, we will land in Lahore with nothing except cricket in our minds.

“In my career, I have featured in some very exciting matches against Pakistan but playing Pakistan in front of its passionate supporters will be a unique occasion, which I can’t wait to experience. As a player, I understand the importance of playing in front of home crowds and that is something I’m sure the Pakistan players will relish.”

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi said: “On behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the cricket loving public, I welcome the ICC World XI team to Pakistan to play in the three-match TI series.

Hashim Amla, who visited Pakistan with Graeme Smith’s side in 2007, said: “I am looking forward to the trip to Pakistan. The rehabilitation of my injured shoulder is progressing well and I am confident of being fit for the matches.”

World XI coach Andy Flower, who visited Pakistan in 1993, 1996 and 1998 with the Zimbabwe cricket teams, said: “I have enjoyed all my previous tours to Pakistan and look forward to returning to Lahore next month.

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said: “I am really excited to see the World XI team coming to Pakistan and keenly look forward to playing in front of our committed crowds and supporters. I can assure all Pakistan cricket fans that we have missed playing in front of them, like they have missed watching us live in action. But this wait is about to end and I am sure better times lie ahead of all of us.

“I am confident that through this tour of the World XI, the global cricket community, including players, media and visitors will get a better understanding and perception of Pakistan, which is a peace-loving and extremely hospitable nation that loves its cricket.

“I would like to congratulate the PCB and ICC for making this tour happen, and look forward to some exciting matches in front of the packed Gaddafi Stadium. I am confident that following the success of these matches, Pakistan will not only host regular international series but at other international cricket centres as well.”

The World XI for the Independence Cup is:

1.     Faf du Plessis (captain) (South Africa)

2.     Hashim Amla (South Africa)

3.     Samuel Badree (Windies)

4.     George Bailey (Australia)

5.     Paul Collingwood (England)

6.     Ben Cutting (Australia)

7.     Grant Elliott (New Zealand)

8.     Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)

9.     David Miller (South Africa)

10.  Morne Morkel (South Africa)

11.  Tim Paine (wicketkeeper) (Australia)

12.  Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka)

13.  Imran Tahir (South Africa)

14.  Darren Sammy (Windies)


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