Pakistan cricket fans are set to have a treat this week as the three match T20I series with the World XI kicks-off with the opening clash at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. South African captain Faf du Plessis is leading the assembly of world class talent that arrived in the city Monday morning to take part in the Independence Cup.
The World XI has four more leading South African internationals besides du Plessis, batsmen Hashim Amla, David Miller, bowlers Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir complete the Proteas pack. Australia’s George Bailey, Ben Cutting and Tim Paine are joined by New Zealand’s Grant Elliot, England’s Paul Collingwood, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, Bangladeshi Tamim Iqbal and the West Indian duo Darren Sammy and Samuel Badree.
The World XI will be fully tested by the Pakistani side captained by Sarfraz Ahmed; the team is brimming with confidence after the historic ICC Champions Trophy win in England last June and the power packed squad has the capability of defeating any team in the shortest format of the game.
Pakistani fans will get their first ever opportunity of seeing Champions Trophy heroes Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan plying their trade in an international game today.
The Green shirts have a great depth in the squad through all-rounders Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin and Fahim Ashraf besides a strong pace attack that is backed by Sohail Khan and Rumman Raees besides Hasan and Shadab.
There is a huge interest in the game and a strong, vocal and vibrant crowd is expected to turn up to witness the return of top-class cricket in the country after a long time.
The World XI is expected to put a real fight once the game gets underway, the Gaddafi pitch as always should be full of runs as both teams vie to outwit each other.