ISLAMABAD: South Africa’s Faf du Plessis will lead the World XI in a three-match T20 series against Pakistan to be played in Lahore next month.
The first two T20Is will be played on September 12 and 13, and the final game will be played on September 15 at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi confirmed this news in a press conference on Thursday.
“This will be an auspicious moment for Pakistan cricket and I am positive that it will serve to open the doors of international cricket in Pakistan. Kenya and Zimbabwe have already been here and featured in high-voltage matches with rapturous crowds,” said Sethi.
Meanwhile, du Plessis said that he was honoured to have 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,” he said.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
It should be noted that no Test side has toured Pakistan since March 2009 militants attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, killing six Pakistani policemen and injuring some of the visiting players.
However, low-ranked sides, namely Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, had toured the country for a limited-over series.
The 14-member squad is as follows: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy.