In the 1970 English summer, a scheduled South African tour was cancelled for political reasons. To make up for the lack of international cricket that season, a Rest of the World team was assembled to play a series of five-day matches against England, winning a keenly contested series of Test matches 4-1. Since then, World XIs have made sporadic appearances on the heavily-congested global cricket calendar, perhaps most notably the 2005 ICC Super Series in October 2005 played between Australia, the world’s ranked number one side at the time, and an ICC World XI made up of the best non-Australian cricketers.

The West Indies are scheduled to play a T20I against a Rest of the World XI in England in May 2018, to raise funds for stadiums damaged by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

In the same way that boxing struggles to compare weight categories, it’s difficult to weigh batsmen versus bowlers (not forgetting the wicket-keepers). It’s just as hard to compare ODI specialists from those with Test pedigree or the influx of modern players who specialise in twenty-over cricket. If the one-off T20I at Lord’s was converted to a multi-format series – and the World XI featured only the best players – here’s a rundown of our 17-man squad.

1. Virat Kohli (IND) (c)

icc-cricketer-of-the-year-2017

Impossible to take your eyes off, unthinkable to ignore.

As of February 2018, Kohli sits top of the ICC ODI Batting Rankings, 2nd amongst Test batsman and 3rd overall in T20I cricket. Averaging 50+ in all three formats of the international game, his numbers speak for themselves. Kohli’s aggressive captaincy has returned India to the top of the class across all formats and he is the poster boy of the IPL. The ICC Awards 2017 honoured him as winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year while he was also named the ODI Player of the Year.

The clear and obvious choice to captain the side across all formats.


2. David Warner (AUS)

Australia v England - T20 Game 1


3. Joe Root (ENG)

England v South Africa - 4th Investec Test: Day Four


4. Kane Williamson (NZ)

GettyImages-633863556 (1)


5. Steve Smith (AUS)

Australia v England - Third Test: Day 5


6. Babar Azam (PAK)

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final


7. Hashim Amla (SA)

England v South Africa - 2nd Investec Test: Day Three


8. AB de Villiers (SA) (wk)

New Zealand v South Africa - 5th ODI


9. Jos Buttler (ENG) (wk)

<> on January 30, 2016 in Kimberley, South Africa.


10. Ben Stokes (SA)

England Media Access


11. Shakib Ul Hasan (BAN)

GettyImages-463746038 (1)


12. Rashid Khan (AFG)

CRICKET-WT20-2016-AFG-TRAINING


13. Ravi Ashwin (IND)

ICC World Twenty20 India 2016: India v Bangladesh


14. Mitchell Starc (AUS)

Australia v England - Game 2


15. Kagiso Rabada (SA)

CRICKET-ENG-RSA-TEST


16. Josh Hazlewood (AUS)

Australia v South Africa - 3rd Test: Day 3


17. Trent Boult (NZ)

GettyImages-509877408

There you have it. Four Australians, three Englishmen, three South Africans, two New Zealanders, two Indians, one Pakistani, one Bangladeshi and one Afghanistani.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

 

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2 thoughts on “Our World XI for 2018

  1. Errr… I’ve got bad news for you… Eoin Morgan!

    How about Lamichane or Khadka from Nepal to help raise the profile of the associate nations? It is a World XI.

    For the record, I’m not a big fan of these matches having official status. T20, List A or First Class is okay but not T20I, ODI or Test. I think international status should be reserved for country v country affairs.

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    1. This team was created purely on perceived ability, but absolutely agree that it would be great to see some associate cricketers involved in these events.

      Plenty of candidates… Scotland’s Safyaan Sharif was top wicket-taker at the recent Cricket World Cup Qualifier… Babar Hayat (Hong Kong) and Assad Vala (PNG) have long been successful associate cricketers. Would be great to see them involved.

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