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

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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