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ICC World XI set to face West Indies in only T20I

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi will be leading the World XI after England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan sustained a broken finger during a domestic match.

Reported by: IANS, London [ Published on: May 31, 2018 13:35 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Dinesh Karthik will be part of ICC World XI side led by Shahid Afridi.

A galaxy of former and current stars will be in action at the iconic Lord's on Thursday to play an exhibition match between the ICC World XI and the West Indies and help raise funds for the refurbishment of five cricket stadia in the Caribbean that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has finally been named to lead the World XI after England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan sustained a broken finger during a domestic match.

"It's a great honour to be leading the ICC World XI side, that too for such a good cause. I'm sure all the players from either side are looking forward to the match with great enthusiasm and people will get to see some high-quality cricket on Thursday," Afridi said on Twitter.

The World XI side, in fact, has had more than a few changes since being formally announced.

Morgan was the first name announced, followed by those of Afridi, his compatriot Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera, the Sri Lanka T20I captain. Next came Rashid Khan, the Afghan leg-spin superstar, and Bangladesh stalwarts Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, followed by Indians Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya and New Zealanders Luke Ronchi and Mitchell McClenaghan.

That completed the XI, but Shakib opted out because of personal reasons and was replaced by the exciting teenaged Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. 

Pandya has also opted out since then, to be replaced by countrymate Mohammed Shami, while Sam Billings has filled in for Morgan. 

English cricketers Adil Rashid and Sam Curran have also been late additions to the 13-man squad.

The squad still wears an extremely strong look. Iqbal, Billings, Karthik, Ronchi and Malik, with Afridi and Perera providing excellent options for a late burst, makes for a mouth-watering batting line-up. 

Karthik, Ronchi and Billings are all wicket-keeping candidates, while in McClenaghan, Curran and Mills, there's a good pace department.

But the most exciting is perhaps the spin attack, or the leg-spin attack, with the two Rashids and Lamichhane all available for selection, not to forget Afridi himself. 

With Samuel Badree on the other side, this one could well be the greatest exhibition of T20 leg-spin bowling ever.

Whichever combination Afridi and Andy Flower, the World XI coach, decide to put out on the field should provide excellent competition to the defending ICC World T20 champions.

Carlos Brathwaite, who hit Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to win the Windies the last ICC World T20 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens in April 2016, is the captain of the Windies side, and the squad has some fantastic T20 talent in their midst.

T20 stars Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Evin Lewis and Badree are the big names in Brathwaite's line-up, while in Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams and others, there's a lot of firepower.

Six of those players were a part of the XI that won the World T20 2016 final.

Teams:

World XI (From): Luke Ronchi, Tamim Iqbal, Shahid Afridi(c), Shoaib Malik, Sam Billings, Dinesh Karthik(w), Thisara Perera, Adil Rashid, Rashid Khan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohammed Shami, Tymal Mills, Sam Curran, Sandeep Lamichhane

Windies (From): Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin(w), Carlos Brathwaite(c), Samuel Badree, Ashley Nurse, Andre Russell, Rayad Emrit, Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams.

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