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Cricket for Heroes: Afghan speedster Shapoor Zadran to play in Oval fundraiser

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On Thursday, Andrew Strauss, the former England skipper and newly-appointed director of England Cricket, will lead a Help for Heroes XI against a Rest of the World XI at the Kia Oval in the inaugural international Help for Heroes fundraiser, Cricket for Heroes.

Some of the world’s finest cricketers, including those who have retired from the international circuit, have been selected by the former England captain Allan Lamb for this match.

Confirmed players include Graeme Swann (England), Matthew Hayden (Australia), Graeme Smith (South Africa), Simon Jones (England), Scott Styris (New Zealand), Virender Sehwag (India), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Darren Gough (England), Damien Martyn (Australia), Ross Taylor (New Zealand) and Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand).

Indian ODI skipper MS Dhoni, former West Indies great Brian Lara and New Zealand star Brendon McCullum was also confirmed their participation.

“I am delighted to be joining so many cricketing superstars at the Kia Oval on Thursday September 17 and supporting such a worthy cause,” Dhoni said.

From Afghanistan, fast bowling lynchpin Shapoor Zadran will take part in the match, according to a statement issued by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

Shafiqullah Stinakzai, the chief executive officer of ACB, said it is a matter of pride for Afghanistan that one of their players has been selected to play this charity game. Zadran said he is pleased to be joining many legends of the game for this charity match and extended his support for such “commendable initiatives”.

The tall and muscular Afghan speedster grabbed many headlines in the World Cup 2015 with his fiery pace and aggressive attitude. He was instrumental in Afghanistan’s historic win against Scotland in the biggest cricketing event.

Supported by Old Mutual Wealth, the UK’s leading wealth manager, the match seeks to raise funds for the wounded and sick service personnel and their families.

The Help for Heroes XI will be managed by former England star David Gower and former West Indies pacer Michael Holding, while the Rest of the World XI will be managed by former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar and coached by former South African batting legend Gary Kirsten.

The match between Help for Heroes XI and Rest of the World XI will be preceded by the Old Mutual Changemakers Challenge Cup between the Help for Heroes Cricket Club and the England Physical Disability Cricket Team. (Afghan Zariza)