South African skipper Faf du Plessis is going to lead the ICC World XI team that will tour Pakistan for a three-match T20I series, PCB announced today. The first two T20Is of the series will be played on September 12 and 13, and the final game will be played on September 15.
Furthermore, the names of 14 members of the squad who will tour Pakistan next month have been confirmed by the PCB. The team consists of five South African cricketers, that is David Miller, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, and Hashim Amla other than du Plessis. Three Australian players - Ben Cutting, George Bailey, and Tim Paine - will also be a part of the team.
Samuel Badree along with Darren Sammy will be representing West Indies in the squad. In addition to these, Paul Collingwood from England, Thisara Perera from Sri Lanka, Grant Elliott from New Zealand, and Tamim Iqbal from Bangladesh will play the series.
Only India and Zimbabwe do not have a representation in the World XI squad and obviously apart from Pakistan.
"I am honored to have been appointed as the captain of such a diverse, attractive and well-balanced side. Like most of the players, I look forward to my maiden tour of Lahore and play my part in the safe and gradual resumption of international cricket in Pakistan," du Plessis said after being selected to lead the side.
"In my career, I have featured in some very exciting matches against Pakistan but to play in Pakistan in front of its passionate supporters, will be a unique experience which I cannot wait to explain. As a player, I understand the importance of playing in front of home crowds and that is something I am sure that Pakistani players will relish," he added.
Pakistan has been isolated from the international scene since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 and
"All the members of the squad have complete faith in the assessment and judgment of the security experts who have assured that there will be no compromise on the safety and security of all those involved in the series. As professionals, we are being paid to play in the series but the bottom line is that if we don't feel safe, no amount of money can get us there. In this background, we will land in Lahore with nothing except cricket on our minds,” said South African Skipper.
Allegedly, PCB is shelling out between USD 75,000 and USD 100,000 on the players who are going to be in the World XI squad, to be coached by Andy Flower.