Amla or Du Plessis likely to lead World XI team set to visit Pakistan

Either South Africa captain Faf du Plessis or star batsman Hashim Amla will be assigned captaincy of the World XI squad set to play a three-match T20 series in Lahore in September, a media report said Tuesday.

“Two big names in South Africa and world cricket, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis, have consented to touring Pakistan with the ICC World XI and one of them will be the captain of the side,” a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official was quoted as saying by DawnNews.

“According to sources, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and PCB are currently processing financial and insurance matters for World XI players. Once contracts are signed by the players, the team will be announced in the coming days,” the report said.

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi said on Monday that 15 players from seven countries had agreed to visit Pakistan as part of the World XI squad.

Sethi, addressing a press conference, said: “Players from England, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have agreed to play the World XI tournament in Pakistan. India, however, has declined to send players.”

Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower, who will coach the World XI, has been assigned to select the squad for the tour, which is financially supported by the ICC.

On June 24, following the conclusion of its annual meeting in London, the ICC had announced that plans for World XI to be held in Pakistan later this year were “continuing to be developed”.

The ICC board had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series between Pakistan and a World XI side in a bid to help revive international cricket in the country.

Pakistan cricket team’s Head Coach Mickey Arthur has shown great interest in the series and hopes that the tour of the World XI will bring Pakistan a step closer to reviving international cricket.

With the exception of a Zimbabwe tour two years ago, Pakistan has had to play all home matches outside of the country after a 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team wiped out the possibility of international level matches to be held in the country.

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