Former ICC chief says Pakistan games not enough to attract teams

Indo Asian News Service

Karachi, Oct 20 (IANS/CMC) Former ICC chief, Ehsan Mani, says this weekend's international cricket matches in Pakistan will boost the country's reputation as a viable host for international cricket but would not be enough to convince Test teams to play in the country.

Three former West Indies players - bowlers Adam Sanford and Jermaine Lawson and batsman Ricardo Powell - have been included in a World X1 to play a Pakistan all-stars X1 in two Twenty/20 matches at the Karachi national stadium Saturday and Sunday, CMC reports.

There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since March 2009, when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked.

"I do not think that these matches will have an immediate impact in persuading ICC Full Member teams to tour Pakistan but it is a step in the right direction," Mani told ESPNcricinfo.

"The International XI is a small but significant step in the confidence building process to assure overseas players and teams that Pakistan is open for cricket and it is safe for overseas players to come to Pakistan."

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has disassociated itself from the tour stressing that the games are unofficial and are unsanctioned.

The PCB has left government officials to deal with most of the arrangements.

"I was disappointed to read that the PCB had disassociated itself from the matches; it appears that PCB is covering itself in case something goes wrong," Mani said.

"The PCB does not seem to understand that before a full international tour can take place, teams such as the International XI should tour Pakistan to provide a degree of comfort to the ICC Member countries."

Former West Indian batsman Alvin Kallicharan is manager of the World XI which is being skippered by former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya.