Zimbabwe’s former batsman, Andy Flower, is likely to coach World XI for the upcoming Pakistan tour next month. World XI are expected to play three T20Is at Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore. This is in an attempt to revive international cricket in Pakistan post 2009 terror attacks. ICC have handed the responsibility to Flower to choose 15 players for World XI as well as coach them. The players will meet in Dubai before flying to Lahore, and adhere to a similar security plan as carried out for Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2 final.
“The ICC handed over responsibility to (Andy) Flower to pick the 15 best players for the World XI squad. The ICC will make a final decision on the selection of the squad,” a Pakistan Cricket Official (PCB) quoted in a report by The Dawn. After the infamous terror attack faced by Sri Lanka in 2009, teams have been apprehensive of travelling to Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan play their home games in adopted venue in UAE. However, after a successful PSL 2 final hosted in Lahore, Sarfraz Ahmed-led side are hopeful of changing the common notion.
After beating India to win ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Pakistan’s coach Mickey Arthur and Sarfraz expressed their desire to host World XI. Arthur believes it will be set a perfect example of cricket’s return to Pakistan. “We’re scheduled to have a World XI in Pakistan in September for three Twenty20 games. So hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours. We can only hope”, said the Pakistan coach.
Sarfraz added, “I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan.” PCB, however, still await official security clearance from Punjab government for hosting the games, which will be recognised as full internationals by ICC. The two sides will hold a meeting next week to discuss on the matter of security arrangements and issuance of a no-objection certificate.
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