Kiwis Ronchi, McClenaghan complete line-up for hurricane relief match

LONDON,  CMC – New Zealanders Luke Ronchi and Mitchell McClenaghan have been named to complete the ICC World XI for the fund-raising Twenty20 International against West Indies at Lord’s later this month.

The pair will join the side skippered by England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan and which includes the likes of international stars Pakistani Shoaib Malik, Bangladesh’s Shakib-al-Hasan and exciting Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.

Funds from the fixture will be in aid of stadia in the Caribbean damaged by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September.

Ronchi, a wicketkeeper/batsman who played the last of his internationals almost a year ago, said he felt the need to get involved in the game because of the cause.

“It is all for a worthy cause and it feels really good to see so many cricketers from different countries come together for such a reason,” he said.

“To be playing a match which will see some of the very best in action together is a matter of great pride for me. I’m looking forward to seeing a packed house at Lord’s, supporting the relief effort, and an exciting game of cricket.”

Andre Russell

McClenagan, meanwhile, has not turned out for his national side in more than two years but is a regular campaigner on the international T20 circuit, and is currently playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

“’It will be an absolute pleasure to contribute towards a fantastic cause and to help restore damaged stadiums after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said the left-arm seamer.

“This will be a fantastic spectacle and I’m looking forward to participating with a great bunch of guys and look forward to doing those who will benefit from this match proud.”

The match, scheduled for May 31, will also feature the likes of Indians Dinesk Karthik and Hardik Pandya, along with Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera.

West Indies will boast a strong side including Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and Andre Russell, and Morgan said he was expecting “an engrossing contest.”

“It’s a great honour to be leading a side which has a selection of players from a number of nations, and I can’t wait to get on to the field for what promises to be an engrossing contest,” he said.

“The build-up to the event … has been very exciting with new additions announced on a regular basis, and the anticipation has been growing daily. I’m sure all the players, including those of the Windies side, are eager to play at Lord’s.

“It’s a fantastic feeling that we will be all getting together for a good cause. The cricket fraternity should be very proud that the funds raised from the match will help rebuild the stadia in the Caribbean and also contribute to the growth of the game.”

Test venues the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua and Windsor Park in Dominica are among the stadia set to benefit.

SQUAD – Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (India), Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Hardik Pandya (India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Luke Ronchi (New Zealand), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh).