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Faf du Plessis to lead star-studded World XI on Pakistan tour

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Thursday Aug 24 2017

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday named the star studded World XI side which will tour the country in September, led by South Africa’s Faf du Plessis.

The 14-member squad has representation from seven countries. The World XI includes five players from South Africa, three from Australia, two from the Windies, and one each from Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The team will play three T20Is in Lahore on September 12, 13 and 15 after arriving in the country on Sept 11, following a two day camp in Dubai.

“Apart from du Plessis, who is South Africa’s Test captain, the World XI also includes England’s ICC World Twenty20 2010 winning captain Paul Collingwood, who scored 108* off 68 balls in a T20 Blast game against Worcester in July; Windies’ Darren Sammy, who inspired his side to ICC World Twenty20 titles in 2012 and 2016; former number-one ranked Test batsman Hashim Amla; Bangladesh’s explosive opener Tamim Iqbal; Australia’s former ODI and T20I captain George Bailey; David Miller of South Africa, who is considered as one of the best finishers in modern day cricket, as well as T20I specialist Grant Elliott, who famously steered New Zealand to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final with a last-ball six against South Africa in Auckland,” said a statement from PCB.

The skipper of the squad, Faf du Plessis of South Africa says that he looks forward to his maiden tour to Pakistan and helping country restore the international cricket at home.

“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,” he said in the statement released by PCB.

“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,” added Faf du Plessis.

The South African captain also added that he and other members of the squad have complete faith and trust in the assessment and judgment of the security experts, who have assured that there will be no comprise on the safety and security of all those involved in the series.

South Africa’s 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.”

Former Zimbabwe captain and ex-England coach Andy Flower will be the coach of the side, which will arrive in Lahore on 11 September after attending a two-day camp in Dubai.

According to Flower, all the players are satisfied and comfortable with the security arrangements that will be put in place for the series and happy to be part of the first step towards the safe return of international cricket to Pakistan.

“We now look forward to playing some exciting cricket so that we can entertain the Lahore crowd, which has waited long enough to see local as well as international stars live in action in their backyard,” he added.(Geo news)

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