In a bid to revive international cricket in Pakistan, International Cricket Council (ICC) will send a World XI team to the country. The World XI will take on Pakistan team in the three-match T20I series, and the tournament has been named as The Independence Cup.
South Africa's Faf du Plessis will captain the World XI team while Sarfraz Ahmed lead Pakistan. All the three T20Is will be played at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The World XI squad comprises of five players from South Africa, three from Australia, two from West Indies and one each from Bangladesh, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Apart from Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, David Miller, More Morkel and Imran Tahir are the other South Africans. Former England T20I captain Paul Collingwood is the lone player from his country. The team will be coached by former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower.
For the first time since 2009, ICC has sent an official to oversee cricket matches in Pakistan. The cricket’s governing body appointed Richie Richardson as the match referee for the series.
Pakistan is hopeful that after hosting World XI, major Test playing nations will travel to the country. As of now, Sri Lanka and Windies have agreed to play few matches in Pakistan during their upcoming bilateral series with the Green Shirts.
After the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team, only Zimbabwe visited the country in 2015 for a short series.
However, Pakistan Cricket Board earlier this year in March successfully conducted the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL T20) in Lahore. The final featured number of overseas players while the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright pulled out of the summit clash.
Pakistan Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan.
World XI Squad: Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, George Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.