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Latif to lead all-star side in the capital

The former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif will lead the Lashings World XI in the second Emirates Palace Cricket Festival from March 24-31.

ABU DHABI // The former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif will lead the Lashings World XI in the second Emirates Palace Cricket Festival from March 24-31. The Lashings side will take on an Abu Dhabi CC Chairman's XI and an Etihad XI. It will also include two other former Pakistan Test cricketers, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq. The event looks likely to attract some high-quality opposition for Lashings as it is hoped that county teams Surrey and Yorkshire will also be taking part in a Twenty20 tournament.

The timing of the festival, held at the picturesque Emirates Palace ground - the hotel is also the club's lead sponsor - may also attract some players on their way to the forthcoming Indian Premier League competition, which begins on April 10. "We have a great working relationship with Abu Dhabi Cricket Council and its chief executive Dilawar Mani," said Emirates Palace beach club director Andy Elliott.

"And what we do here complements them very well. They put on serious top-class cricket at a tremendous world class venue at Abu Dhabi Cricket Stadium, where, with Lashings, we will be staging a more relaxed celebrity festival, where people can put their feet up and have fun." Formed in 1984 by the businessman David Folb as a lowly amateur team playing in the lower reaches of the Kent Leagues, Lashings attracted worldwide attention when they signed the former West Indies captain Richie Richardson.

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Muttiah Muralitharan, Brian Lara, Shoaib Akhtar and Sir Viv Richards have turned out for them in the past as Folb turned them into cricket's equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, touring the world and raising money for charity. mwalker@thenational.ae

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