Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik have been selected to play for the ICC World XI in the upcoming series again West Indies. The Pakistani stars, along with Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, have confirmed their availability and participation for the ICC World XI which will face West Indies in a charity match.
International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that the match is being staged to raise funds for the reconstruction of five major Caribbean stadiums which were damaged by Hurricane Irma and Maria.
Afridi and Malik were both a part of Pakistan’s side which won the ICC T20 World Cup whereas Perera was a member of the Sri Lankan side which proudly lifted the trophy in 2014.
The World Cup winners, along with other prominent players such as Eoin Morgan will help attract more crowd due to their immense reputation.
While talking about his inclusion, Afridi said:
I am humbled to have been selected for such a noble cause. Cricket is one big family and no matter how hard and tough we play against each other, there is tremendous comradely within the group. As such, it is our moral and professional obligation to stand up and support whenever and wherever we can, to assist our members, colleagues and cricket fans.
Malik also responded positively:
It’s a matter of great honour and pride to be selected in an ICC World XI and a wonderful opportunity to play along with and against some of the biggest names in world cricket. As much as the chance of figuring in such a select group, I also see this as an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful cause. 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 together for the objective of raising funds to repair the damage to cricket venues.
That the match is being played at Lord’s makes this event extra special for me. Lord’s obviously is one of the most revered cricket venues but I also have some very delightful memories there. One that really stands out is anchoring the chase along with Shahid Afridi when we beat Sri Lanka in the final to win the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.
Lastly, Perera also had a few words to say on the matter.
I’m privileged to have made the World XI side for a second time after having also played in the series against Pakistan in Lahore last year. I’m looking forward to the match at Lord’s next month with great enthusiasm as this is one of those rare opportunities when you get to rub shoulders with the best in the world. To be playing alongside so many top players from different countries will definitely be a high point of my career.