Wellington: The organiser of two Twenty20 matches between an international XI and a Pakistan All Stars side on Wednesday insisted they would go ahead despite the game's governing body objecting to the name of the touring team. The two matches on Saturday and Sunday in Karachi are aimed at taking Pakistan a little further towards a resumption of home internationals, suspended since a deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) wrote to the PCB to say the visiting team could not use the "World XI" name. "The ICC doesn't permit the names World or World XI for exhibition matches," said an ICC spokesman from Dubai. Mohammad Ali Shah, sports minister for Sindh province, said the matches were backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and were aimed to restore international cricket in the country. Responding to the ICC's concerns, Shah said the matches would go ahead.
"There is nothing controversial in it," said Shah. "It will be an International World XI which is arriving early Thursday and the matches will go ahead as per schedule. "Former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya will lead the 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 include Younis Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz and Imran Nazir.