World XI will face West Indies in a charity match at Lord’s on May 31
Former Zimbabwe batsman and coach of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World XI Andy Flower sees the upcoming charity match as an opportunity to bring Pakistan and India together through cricket.
Flower was pleased to be once again part of this initiative because the participants were all in with the intention of supporting a good cause.
“I’ve been involved in these World XI charity events before as a player, and there’s usually a wonderful feel to it,” said Flower in an interview with the ICC. “The feeling is generated because the intent behind everyone’s involvement is for good and you get some really amazing side benefits as well. For instance, here we’ve got Pakistanis and Indians sharing a dressing room which doesn’t happen very often.”
Flower believes that there are a bunch of talented players on both sides and the spectators will head home with lots of great memories.
“This is a wonderful experience and will create wonderful memories for these players and hopefully wonderful memories for the spectators who see really talented exciting players playing against a very talented exciting West Indies side,” said Flower.
Flower appreciated unity shown by the cricketing world to support the West Indies at a time when they desperately needed it.
The sole purpose of organising this match was to raise money for the rebuilding of damaged cricketing stadia in the West Indies, which were hit by hurricanes last year.
“Sport has been used as a vehicle for good in many instances in the past and this is one of those occasions,” said the World XI coach. “The hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the islands of Anguilla and Dominica eight months ago so perhaps this isn’t in the public consciousness as powerfully as it was back then. But after that happened, initially the West Indies Cricket Board and Giles Clarke talked together, and then the ICC and the MCC came together to put this event on to raise money to restore the cricket grounds in those islands.”
Shahid Afridi will captain the World XI side — in the absence of Eoin Morgan — while West Indies will be led by Carlos Brathwaite.
The match will take place at Lord’s on May 31.