Over the last decade, Pakistan cricket has gone through several rough patches. Constant terror attacks and political tensions across the country ensured that no international game was played in the nation since 2009. However, international cricket returned to Pakistan when Zimbabwe toured them in 2015.
The T20 series between the World XI and Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore is a huge event, not only for the fans, but also for the future of cricket in Pakistan. Several retired and current players will be taking part in the much-awaited tournament.
As we move forward, we take a look at five of the retired cricketers in the World XI squad.
During his playing days for England, Paul Collingwood used to be an integral part of the national team in all departments. Apart from being a dependable batsman in the middle order, Collingwood also rolled his arms over to chip in with bowling spells at crucial phases of a game.
In addition, he was electrifying as a fielder and hardly dropped catches in the outfield. Even at 41 years of age, he looks fit as ever as he looks forward to play for the World XI team in Pakistan against a bunch of vibrant Pakistani cricketers.
After he hung up his boots from international cricket, the former English all-rounder played County Cricket for Durham on a regular basis. Therefore, he isn’t short of match practice by any stretch of the imagination. It has also kept him in good shape, going into the tournament.
Grant Elliott had a short career with the New Zealand national team. However, during his short stint, the Kiwi all-rounder impressed with both bat and ball. He wasn’t particularly intimidating with the willow, so preferred to play copybook cricket in order to accumulate runs.
His slow medium-pace bowling also helped him churn out wickets at pivotal points of an encounter. The Johannesburg born cricketer eventually retired from One Day Internationals in 2016. However, he confirmed full-retirement when he signed the Kolpak deal in 2017 to play the Natwest T20 Blast for Warwickshire.
He is well and truly in the thick of things when it comes to playing T20 cricket and can be a handy addition to the World XI team as they go into the T20 tournament in Lahore.
Darren Sammy was the first cricketer from St Lucia to represent the West Indies in Test cricket. He also went on to captain the Caribbean side in the most demanding format of the sport. However, following a couple of dismal series against India and New Zealand, he lost the Test captaincy.
Soon after, in 2014, he decided to bid adieu to Test cricket. However, he continued playing limited overs cricket for West Indies. He also led them to a couple of World T20 titles, first in Sri Lanka in 2012 followed by their triumph in India in 2016.
Sammy last represented the West Indies way back in April 2016, but is an active participant in T20 tournaments around the globe. Lately, he has played for the St Lucia Stars in the sixth edition of the Caribbean Premier League.
Thisara Perera is an explosive lower-order batsman, who likes to play the big shots more often than not. Apart from that, he is more than useful with the ball in hand. In 2012, he became the seventh Sri Lankan bowler to pick up a hat-trick in international cricket.
In 2016, the Colombo-born cricketer finally decided to pull down the curtains on his Test career and hence retired from the format. Nevertheless, he continued to ply his trade for Sri Lanka in One Day and T20 cricket.
He recently represented the Gloucestershire in the Natwest T20 Blast and also played the one-off T20 match against India. With the skills he possesses with both bat and ball, he can be an asset to the World XI side.
Samuel Badree could be considered the most efficient leg-spinner West Indies cricket ever produced. He is a T20 specialist bowler, who plays the format for various franchises across the globe. With 176 wickets at an economy rate of less than six, the Trinidadian is a treat to watch in the T20 version of the game.
He mostly bowls in the power-play, when the ball is hard and new and never disappoints one bit. He doesn’t turn the ball much, but maintains an impeccable line and length, which makes him a difficult bowler to get on top of.
In 2009, Badree played his last first-class game and in 2013, he retired from List A cricket as well in order to focus on his T20 career. If he goes on to play, then it won’t be a cakewalk for the Pakistani batsmen to dictate terms against Badree.