By Sports Reporter Doha
Afridi, who has appeared in 398 ODIs, 98 T20s and 27 Tests
for Pakistan, has played at the highest level for more than 20 years
Pakistan star Shahid Afridi will be the main attraction in the Qatar National Day Cricket Cup match between World XI vs Qatar XI on December 16, organisers announced yesterday.
The former Pakistan captain, who still plays Twenty20 cricket but has retired from Tests and One Day Internationals, is very popular in the subcontinent. And with Asian expats residing in large numbers in Qatar, Afridi’s presence for a match on Qatar’s National Day, is a sure-shot crowd puller.
The exhibition match will be held at the 13,000-capacity Asian Town Cricket Stadium in the Industrial Area. The event is organised by Pro Events in association with How Automobile Centre and Stepco Group under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Ibn Ajayan Projects, the facility managers of Asian Town Cricket stadium ,are supporting partners for the event.
Afridi, who has appeared in 398 ODIs, 98 T20s and 27 Tests for Pakistan, has played at the highest level for more than 20 years. He also holds the record of taking most wickets and most player-of-the match awards in T20 International cricket.
Afridi will be joined by present and past cricketers for the T20 contest, with mostly his Pakistani counterparts making up the numbers. Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq, Sohaib Maqsood, Akmal brothers – Kamran and Umar, Mohamed Sami, Saeed Ajmal and Fawad Alam are the Pakistanis lined up for the match.
Players from other countries will also figure in the match From India, Yusuf Pathan and Mohamed Kaif, Bangladesh’s Mohamed Ashraful, South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs and Imran Tahir, West Indies’ Jerome Taylor, England’s Liam Plunkett, Sri Lanka’s Farveez Maharoof and Chaminda Vaas and Afghanistan’s Nawroz Mangal are the others who have confirmed their participation.
Sajjad Hussain Choudhry, CEO of Pro Events, who has played an active role in bringing the cricketers to Qatar, said his vision is to promote and popularise the game in the country.
“These international stars, by sharing the dressing room and playing with them will guide the local players, who can gain experience and become better cricketers,” Choudhry said.
He said efforts were being made to bring in more international players to Qatar for the match.
“We are celebrating Qatar National Day for second consecutive year, under the patronage and full support of Ministry of Culture and Sports. I am thankful to the Qatar Government in their efforts to promote cricket in Qatar.” Choudhry added.
The Players will also hold a coaching session in the afternoon for school children at the Asian Town stadium. Post-match, on the 17th December a gala dinner with the cricketers will be held at Marsa Malaz Kempinski,The Pearl-Doha. Passes for the gala dinner will be made available and can be purchased.
Confirmed players for the event: Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq, Sohaib Maqsood, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Muhammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal, Fawad Alam (all Pakistan), Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Kaif (India), Mohammad Ashraful (Bangaldesh), Jerome Taylor (West Indies), Herschelle Gibbs, Imran Tahir (South Africa), Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Nawroz Mangal (Afghanistan), Liam Plunkett (England).
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