Pakistan To Host World XI, Cricket Board Supports But Denies Responsibility
Pakistan will host a World XI for two Twenty20 matches "in hopes of moving a step closer to resuming home internationals," which have been suspended for more than three years, according to the AFP. Foreign teams have refused to play in Pakistan since '09, "when the Sri Lankan team was attacked as they arrived for the third day of the second Test in Lahore, leaving eight people dead." The host team will be the Pakistan All Stars in Karachi, which will play on Saturday and Sunday. Sindh province Sports Minister Mohammad Ali Shah said that the matches "will help restore Pakistan's image in the world." Shah said, "We hope that this small step will pave the way for other teams to tour Pakistan, and by staging these matches we hope to send a clear message that our country is safe for international sports" (AFP, 10/16).
PCB DISTANCES ITSELF: The PTI added the Pakistan Cricket Board "has distanced itself" from the two Twenty20 matches being played between the World XI and Pakistan Stars XI. Although the PCB did say that it supports the matches, it also "made it clear that foolproof security, anti-corruption measures, marketing and broadcasting of the matches remained the responsibility of the organisers." The PCB said that it "wished all success to Shah" and pointed out that it had "released players to participate in the matches" (PTI, 10/16).