All-rounder Hardik Pandya and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik were named in the Eoin Morgan-led ICC Rest of the World XI along with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi to take on the Windies in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge at Lord’s on May 31. So far, nine players have been confirmed to represent the ICC World XI. Apart from the Indian duo, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, senior Bangladesh players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, and star Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan are the others in the squad. More names are expected to be added to the squad soon.
Former chairman of ECB, Giles Clarke, who is supporting the event, said that it would be a perfect opportunity for the Indian fans to watch two of their most flamboyant players. “This is a fantastic opportunity for fans of the Indian team to come out and watch these two flamboyant players, who bring both class and star value to what I’m sure will be a memorable match at Lord’s,” he said.
Last year, Hardik Pandya had played a magnificent knock of 76 against Pakistan at the same venue in the ICC Champions Trophy and Clarke believes that fans would not have forgotten that effort.
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— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) May 3, 2018
“People would remember Pandya’s valiant 43-ball 76 against Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy last year while Karthik too has played Test cricket at Lord’s. He has been in terrific form and recently blasted 29 off eight deliveries and sealed victory over Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy with a last-ball six,” Clarke added.
The fixture has been given an international status and the money generated through it will go towards the restoration and renovation of 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 Carib Lumber Ball Park in St Maarten – damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria to varying degrees late last year.
The Windies have named a strong 13-man squad, including captain Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and the returning Andre Russell.
Windies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (c), Samuel Badree, Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams.