ICC forces Pakistan to change teams’ names for exhibition games

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Karachi: The two exhibition Twenty20 matches between a World XI and Pakistan Stars XI ran into trouble after the International Cricket Council objected to the visiting team’s name, forcing the organisers to rename the side.

“The ICC has objected that since these are exhibition matches we can’t name the visiting team as World XI,” chief organiser Dr Muhammad Ali Shah said.

“But we are going ahead with the matches and we have renamed the team as International World XI,” he added.

Shah said the Pakistan team would also be known as All-Pakistan Stars XI. The two matches on Saturday and Sunday in Karachi are aimed at helping the Pakistan Board’s efforts to revive international cricket in the country.

No Test team has toured Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six policemen and a van driver and wounding five of the visiting players.

“Our purpose of holding these matches is to let the international community know that international cricketers can come and play in our country despite the security issues,” Shah who is Sindh’s sports minister said.

The ICC wrote to the PCB on Wednesday to say the visiting team could not use the “World XI” name.

Shah said the matches were backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board and elaborate security arrangements were being made at the national stadium.

“The foreign players will start reaching Karachi from Thursday,” he said.

Former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya will lead the International World XI, which also includes former players from South Africa and the West Indies.

The Pakistan All Stars will be led by current all-rounder Shahid Afridi and includes Younus Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz and Imran Nazir.

 

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