KARACHI - Sindh Sports Minister and former member of PCB governing board Dr MA Shah has said that he is in negotiations with a number of cricketers of the world to make a World Cricket XI team to tour Pakistan in next two months.
He made the revelation in a TV talk show here on Tuesday and hoped that the team would be finalised in next four to six weeks.
According to reliable information available players who have been contacted with the proposal belong to South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Holland. In response to a question from his lady host who asked how could the cricket isolation of Pakistan be broken, the known orthopaedic surgeon who as sports minister for Sindh had taken the game of cricket to all the four corners of the interior Sindh, responded that it would be over soon and disclosed that he was in the planning stage of forming a cricket eleven consisting of players from across the globe. He said he had contacted foreign cricketers some time ago with the suggestion for raising a World Cricket XI. He said cricketers had responded positively to his proposal because he had felt that if given a suitable appearance fee and an assurance, the cricketers would come to Pakistan.
He, however, did not give the names of the cricketers whom he had contacted or the dates and the venue for the matches for the planned World Cricket XI tour. However, he indirectly gave the hint that National stadium would be suitable venue for the match or the matches.
He did not answer the query how would he assure the players of security but narrated how he successfully managed the security arrangements at Karachi when Sri Lankan came here a few years ago. As the chairman of the Test and ODI organising committee in Karachi, he with the support of Sindh Police and other law enforcing agencies and proper planning made foolproof security arrangements.
It may be mentioned that since 1970, two World XIs visited Pakistan for charity causes. The first time World XI which included Garry Sobers and a number of the West Indians cricketers came to Pakistan to raise funds for millions who were affected by devastating cyclone in the then East Pakistan and later another World XI came for fund raising for a charity cause.