DUBAI: Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera will be part of the World XI in the T20 International against West Indies to be played at Lord’s on May 31, the ICC announced on Thursday.
The match is being staged to raise funds to rebuild and restore five major cricket venues at the heart of Caribbean communities that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.
Afridi and Malik were part of the Pakistan squad that won the ICC World T20 in 2009, while Perera was a member of the Sri Lanka side that lifted the silverware in Dhaka in 2014.
“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 comradery 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,” Afridi said.
The three World T20 winners will lend a lot of weight to the ICC World XI side which will see more names being added in what is expected to be a star-studded line-up led by England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, who has already been confirmed to lead the side.
“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,” Malik said.
Perera, who was also a part of the World XI team that played a three-match T20 series against Pakistan in 2017, said, “I am 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 also very happy because I have been given the opportunity to contribute in what I think is a very good cause. It is heartening to note that players have come together for helping rebuild stadia in the West Indies. The West Indies have contributed a lot to world cricket over the years and they deserve all support from our generation of players,” he added.
The Carlos Brathwaite-led West Indies are also a strong side boasting big names like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell. They will be looking to give their best and show the might that helped them win the ICC World Twenty20 title two years ago.