LAHORE – The World XI team is coming to Pakistan next month, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has confirmed while reaffirming his aim to restore international cricket in the country.
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Speaking at the development program ceremony held for Lahore Qalandars’ players in the Punjab capital, Sethi said that the World XI team will have big names from all the top cricketing nations.
The announcement comes a day after the Punjab Government gave its nod for ‘Presidential level security’ for the tour.
The 14-man squad, featuring players from all top Test countries, will be in Dubai for a seven-day camp and will then head to Lahore for the three-T20 series starting September 10. Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower will be the coach of the side.
“I have all the names, but will announce them in a day or two,” Sethi added.
“The world XI tour will be followed by a visit by Sri Lankan team.”
Media reports suggest South Africa’s star batsman Hashim Amla and spin king Imran Tahir will be included in the World XI squad, which is expected to tour Pakistan between September 10-15.
The tour has got full backing from the ICC, according to PCB chairman Najam Sethi, and the world body has been working closely with the PCB for ensuring security for the event. All the expenses of the tour will be borne by the PCB.
The World XI tour was originally scheduled for late September, but the Punjab government reportedly advised the PCB to push back the tour dates before the NA-120 by-election on September 17.
A security report on the proposed tour will be delivered soon by the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), which will go a long way in persuading players whether it is safe to tour.
After the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009, only Zimbabwe and Afghanistan have toured Pakistan as the others have refused over security concerns. The major blow was not hosting 2011 World Cup which was scheduled to jointly held by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Earlier this year, PCB hosted the PSL final and overseas players, including former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, featured in the fixture on March 5 in Lahore.