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World XI arrives in Pakistan amid tight security

Players from seven countries - England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand - agreed to tour Pakistan, which is organizing the series in a bid to revive international cricket at home.

Reported by: AP , New Delhi [ Published on: September 11, 2017 11:34 IST ]
World XI series
Security personnel in front of Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore.Photo:AP IMAGE

A World XI led by South Africa's Faf du Plessis arrived in Lahore early on Monday amid tight security to play a three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Players from seven countries - England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand - agreed to tour Pakistan, which is organizing the series in a bid to revive international cricket at home.

West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree was due to join the squad later on Monday, after playing in the Caribbean Premier League final.

Pakistan has only hosted Zimbabwe for a short, limited-overs series in 2015 since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan national cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009, wounding several of the players and killing six policemen and a driver.

"It's great to be here," said Andy Flower, the World XI coach and former Zimbabwe captain. "We are looking forward to seeing a lot of you watching the great cricket that we are going to put on show and we had a warm welcome already."

Top officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board, including its chairman Najam Sethi, welcomed the players at the airport.

Both the federal and Punjab provincial governments have deployed thousands of security officials to guard the teams on the routes from their hotel to the Gaddafi Stadium, which will host the matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

World XI: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy, Imran Tahir.

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