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Reports: Faf du Plessis to captain World XI side

The lineup will reportedly consist of Hashim Amla, James Neesham among others.


South Africa v Ireland - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Faf du Plessis

What’s the story?

Reports emerging in Pakistan have suggested that South African captain Faf du Plessis will captain the World XI side set to visit the country in September.

According to a report in Geo.tv, sources in the know of the development of the scheduled World XI tour have confirmed that du Plessis will the lead a star-studded line-up that will include the top players from all major cricketing nations.

“I can confirm you that Faf (du Plessis) will lead the World XI,” the source told Geo.tv.

In case you didn’t know…

Ever since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in March 2009 in Lahore, several countries have refused to tour Pakistan citing security concerns. The attack on the Lankan bus dealt a severe blow to Pakistan’s credibility as a host nation. Consequently, the country lost its share of games in the 2011 World Cup.

Finally in 2015, after a six-year hiatus, international cricket was revived in the country as Zimbabwe visited to play a T20I series and an ODI series. However, this too was marred by a bomb blast just 800m away from the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan that was hosting the second ODI. Earlier in March this year, PCB successfully hosted the PSF final featuring top stars in Lahore without any major incident.

A World XI series then came into discussion in a bid to revive international cricket in Pakistan.

The heart of the matter

According to Geo.tv’s sources, apart from du Plessis, the squad will also feature former Australian captain George Bailey. Talks with Bailey have moved in a positive direction and in all likelihood, he will be a part of the touring squad.

The team will also include South African opening batsman Hashim Amla, New Zealand's James Neesham, former England batsman Paul Collingwood and other top players from South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

The final squad of the World XI team, which will be managed and coached by Zimbabwean iconic cricketer Andy Flower, is likely to be announced on Friday.

What’s next?

The World XI team is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the second week of September to play a three-match T20I series in Lahore.

Author’s take

If these three games go well, it could be the key to Pakistan’s future as a viable host nation. If they go off without any incident, more countries may want to tour the country in the near future.

As for the World XI side, the reported lineup seems pretty strong but we have to wait a few more days before we get too excited.

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