South African Test skipper Faf du Plessis has got another burden to carry out on his shoulder and this time the burden carries a big commitment in itself as it has come in form of leading the World XI squad that will play three T20 Internationals against Pakistan as part of the Independence Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued a press release on Thursday stating that the 14-member World XI squad will include players from seven Test-playing countries. The three T20Is will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 12, 13 and 15.
The World XI includes five players from South Africa, three from Australia, two from the West Indies and one each from Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (capt) (South Africa), Hashim Amla (South Africa), Samuel Badree (West Indies), George Bailey (Australia), Paul Collingwood (England), Ben Cutting (Australia), Grant Elliott (New Zealand), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), David Miller (South Africa), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Tim Paine (wk) (Australia), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Darren Sammy (West Indies). Former Zimbabwe captain and ex-England coach Andy Flower will be the coach of the side, which will arrive in Lahore on September 11 after attending a two-day camp in Dubai.
“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,” the PCB release quoted Du Plessis as saying.
“All the members of the squad have complete faith and trust in the assessment and judgment of the security experts, who have assured us that there will be no comprised 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,” he added.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said he was excited about playing the series. “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,” he concluded.