Exhibition matches between a Pakistan All Stars and World XI have been confirmed to take place at the National Stadium, Karachi this weekend.
Sindh Sports Minister and an avid cricket organiser, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who has arranged the much-needed action amid drought of international cricket, announced that all the arrangements to hold the two matches were final. The matches will be played on October 20 and 21 with former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya (World XI) and star all-rounder Shahid Afridi (Pakistan All Stars) named captains.
The visiting team will also include Ricardo Powell (West Indies), Justin Kemp, Andre Nel, (South Africa), Shapoor Zadran and Mohammad Shehzad Mohammadi (Afghanistan). Former captain Younus Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal and Umar Gul are among the national stars who will play in the Afridi-led team. The World XI is scheduled to arrive in Karachi on October 18 and, according to Dr Shah, exemplary security arrangements will be made to ensure safety of players.
“A total of 5,000 security officials will be involved in security and other arrangements,” Shah told a press conference at the National Stadium yesterday. “These include police, Rangers and traffic officials who will ensure the matches are held in a befitting manner.”
Shah said the games will help create a soft image of the country.
“It will be a first step towards revival of international cricket in Pakistan. It will also help the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf who is working hard to revive the staging of international cricket.”
While no PCB official accompanied Dr Shah at the press conference, he was grateful to the board which was supporting him.
PCB distance itself from affairs
Meanwhile, the PCB wished luck to Dr Shah but distanced itself from obligations of arrangements.
“The PCB has released its players for the matches,” said a PCB media release. “The board has also permitted the use of National Stadium for these matches. But all other obligations including security, anti-corruption, marketing and broadcasting etc are direct responsibility of the organiser and were to be managed by him.”
S Jayasuriya, R Powell, S Taylor, J Charles, A Sanford, J Kemp, L Bosman, M Tschabalala, A Nel, A Seymore, M Hayword, S Zadran, M Shehzad Mohammadi
Pakistan All Stars
S Afridi, Y Khan, N Jamshed, A Shafiq, S Hasan, K Latif, U Akmal, F Alam, S Malik, U Gul, M Sami, W Riaz, S Ahmed, F Iqbal, A Ali, I Nazir, T Ahmed, R Raja, F Ahmed, A Hussain
Tickets to be made available from today
The organisers have also set cheap rates for the tickets which will be available at various centres in Karachi from today.
The entry pass for the general enclosure is available at just Rs30, while tickets denominations for other enclosures are Rs200 and Rs500.
The tickets will be available at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium, Moin Khan Academy, Karachi Gymkhana, Landhi Gymkhana, KCCA Stadium, TMC Ground, AO Clinic, National Coaching Center, UBL Sports Complex, ZA Sports Nazimabad, Miandad Sports Karimabad, ZA Sports Model Colony and Pak Star Cricket Stadium.
To facilitate the ticket holders, a shuttle service will also be made available from six points of the city, transporting fans to the stadium.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2012.