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Flower power for World XI selections

Zimbabwe great and former England coach Andy Flower


03/08/2017 00:00:00
by Agencies
Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower

Zimbabwe great and former England coach Andy Flower charged with putting together a World XI squad to play T20s in Pakistan

FORMER England coach Andy Flower is set to be not just coach of a World XI to tour Pakistan next month, but chief selector too.

Flower, a renowned wicket-keeper batsman and former captain for Zimbabwe, has been tipped to take the dual roles to pick a team of stars that will further advance international cricket's long-awaited return to Pakistan.

The International Cricket Council resolved at its June meeting to continue plans for a three-match T20 series between Pakistan and a World XI in Lahore in September as the latest step in the full return of international cricket to the country.

Zimbabwe played a series of ODI matches in Pakistan in 2015, the only international cricket in the country since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

"The ICC handed over responsibility to Andy Flower to pick the 15 best players for the World XI squad," Dawn quoted a Pakistan Cricket Board official as saying.

"The ICC will make a final decision on the selection of the squad," the PCB official said.

PCB chairman Shahryar Khan confirmed on Pakistan television recently that "Andy Flower will be the coach of the touring World XI side.

He then added that he had "heard that Hashim Amla, Michael Clarke, along with New Zealander Luke Ronchi and Australian Tim Paine, are going to be part of the team".

Clarke later disputed that claim on social media.

The prospects for the World XI series will become clearer following an important meeting with the Punjab government next week to receive official security clearance for the matches that would be recognised as full internationals by the ICC.

After Pakistan's stunning 180-run win over arch-rivals India in the final of the Champions Trophy at The Oval last week, coach Mickey Arthur said he hoped the visit of the World XI would go ahead.

"We're scheduled to have a World XI in Pakistan in September for three Twenty20 games," said the South African.

"So hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours. We can only hope."

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed added: "I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan.


Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board and head of the ICC's Pakistan task force told the Guardian in March: "The desire is to give the cricket-starved Pakistani supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action.

"Furthermore, the terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan."

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