Lord’s bicentenary: Ajmal ready for Afridi battleLord’s bicentenary: Ajmal ready for Afridi battle


LONDON: Pakistan’s spin wizard Saeed Ajmal will join several leading international players for the Lord’s bicentenary match between Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and a Rest of the World XI scheduled to be staged on July 5. The MCC XI will be captained by India hero Sachin Tendulkar while the Rest of the World side will be led by Australia great Shane Warne. Lord’s completed its 200 year anniversary on June 22, having hosted the first known cricket match back in 1814 between MCC and Hertfordshire,

The MCC team includes Tendulkar’s former Indian teammate Rahul Dravid, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara, Australian pace bowler Brett Lee, as well as Pakistani seam bowler Umar Gul along with master off-spinner Ajmal.

The Warne-led Rest of the World XI features Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Muttiah Muralitharan, Adam Gilchrist, Kevin Pietersen and Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

“First and foremost I’m honoured to have been asked to play in the MCC versus Rest of the World match,” Ajmal told Pakpassion.net.

“It should be a fantastic occasion featuring some of the greatest players in the history of the game.”

“There are many superstars in both teams and it will be brilliant to play alongside and against some of cricket’s legends and biggest names,” Ajmal said while adding that he along with his two teammates would also be serving as ambassadors for Pakistan come July 5.

“We’ll be there to not only do our best on the field for our respective teams, but we are also at Lord’s as ambassadors for Pakistan cricket.”

The dashing Afridi echoed Ajmal’s words in an earlier statement.

“Lord’s is always a wonderful place to play cricket and I’m really looking forward to going back there,” said Afridi in a MCC statement.

“It’s going to be great to be involved in the Lord’s Bicentenary celebrations and I’d like to thank MCC for inviting me to take part in the game.

“There are plenty of great players on the team sheet for this match and I can’t wait to share a pitch with them again — especially in such an amazing setting.”

Lord’s Bicentenary match teams:

MCC: Sachin Tendulkar (India, captain), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), Rahul Dravid (India), Aaron Finch (Australia), Umar Gul (Pakistan), Brian Lara (West Indies), Brett Lee (Australia), Chris Read (England, wicket-keeper), Shaun Tait (Australia), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand).

REST OF THE WORLD: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Tino Best (West Indies), Paul Collingwood (England), Adam Gilchrist (Australia, wicket-keeper), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kevin Pietersen (England), Virender Sehwag (India), Peter Siddle (Australia), Yuvraj Singh (India).