Afridi, Malik to play for World XI against West Indies

Published: April 19, 2018
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Both Afridi and Malik have enjoyed stellar careers for the Men in Green, winning matches with both bat and ball over the years. PHOTO: AFP

Both Afridi and Malik have enjoyed stellar careers for the Men in Green, winning matches with both bat and ball over the years. PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik will play for the World XI, which will take on West Indies in a one-off charity T20I match on May 31 at Lord’s.

The development was confirmed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a press release on Thursday. The duo will be accompanied by Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera in the team which will be led by England’s middle-order batsman Eoin Morgan. The trio were the first set of players to confirm their participation for the ICC World XI.

The match is being organised to raise funds for stadia in the Caribbean that were badly damaged following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. Afridi, who retired from international cricket last year, has represented Pakistan in 98 T20Is, where he scored 1,405 runs and claimed 97 wickets. On the other hand, 36-year-old Malik is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in the shortest format of the game with 1,569 runs in 95 matches, and has also claimed 27 wickets with his part-time off-spin.

The pair played a crucial role in the Green Shirts’ 2009 World T20 triumph, and was on the crease when the winnings runs were scored. Both Afridi and Malik expressed their delight after being selected for the match in a statement issued in ICC’s press release.

“I am humbled to have been selected for such a noble cause,” said Afridi. “Cricket is one big family and no matter how hard and tough we play against each other, there is tremendous comradery within the group.”

Fellow Pakistan legend Malik had similar views. “It’s a matter of great honour and pride to be selected in an ICC World XI and a wonderful opportunity to play with some of the biggest names in world cricket,” said Malik. “We have all heard of the damage caused by the two hurricanes in the West Indies last year and it is really good to see so many cricketers come forward to help raise funds for the reparation of the stadiums.”

West Indies have also announced a strong squad for the match which will be led by hard-hitting all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite. The West Indies will also have Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell in the squad.

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