Lord’s is set to hold a historic T20 International match between the West Indies team and Rest of the World XI team in England on 31 May 2018. The fixture was granted international status by International Cricket Association (ICC), is being arranged to raise funds to renovate and rebuild five venues in the Caribbean – Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica, A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground in BVI and Lumber Ball Park in St Maarten. The stadiums were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria to varying degrees last year in 2017.
West Indies who are also the reigning champions of the T20 International will be facing the World’s strongest cricket team for the fund raising match. The World XI consists of some of the best and top-ranked players. Eoin Morgan was declared as the captain of the World XI squad by the ICC in March 2018. The following month, Carlos Brathwaite was named as the captain of the West Indies team.
“It’s a great honour to be leading a side which has a selection of players from a number of nations, and I can’t wait to get on to the field for what promises to be an engrossing contest. I’m looking forward to being a part of the World XI at Lord’s for the charity match against the Windies on the 31st of May, that will be raising funds to help with the rebuilding of cricket venues which were damaged by the two hurricanes in the Caribbean last year,” World XI skipper Morgan said.
The squad of World XI includes Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik (India), Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan). The New Zealand pair of Luke Ronchi and Mitchell McClenaghan will command the bowling and wicket keeping/batting. Shakib al Hasan of Bangladesh was also in the line up but he backed out after some personal problems. The name of the 11th man will be revealed soon.
Surely the World XI looks invincible as they should but one should not forget the West Indies, the team who proudly calls themselves the T20 Champions of the World have batsmen like Chris Gayle who could single-handedly turn the tides of match, Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis. The team also has the captain and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite and Andre Russell to name a few.
It’ll be really interesting to watch the World XI’s line up playing against the champions West Indies at the home of cricket.
World XI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain, England), Dinesh Karthik (India), Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Hardik Pandya (India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Luke Ronchi (New Zealand), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh).
West Indies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (c), Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams