November 20, 2008

Lahore Badshahs v Pakistan

A fan dreams of a clash between the two teams that have brought Pakistan much joy over the last week
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Welcome violence: Imran Nazir murders the Hyderabad attack in the ICL final © ICL

Memo to Moin Khan, manager of the Lahore Badshahs: "Congratulations. Your team has won the ICL tournament and made us proud. Now your captain has gone one better and challenged the Pakistan national side to a duel." We've just had a few terrific few days: both the Pakistan international team and their alter ego, the Lahore Badshahs, have scored a series of resounding wins. What could be better for the Pakistani game, and for the fans, than watching these two outfits do battle against each other?

Lately it's been so slow around here that you could be excused for forgetting that Pakistan is a full-member ICC nation, which has played over 300 Tests and nearly 700 ODIs, won a World Cup, and added a few names to the pantheon. These days all anyone seems to notice is that Pakistan is an agitated land boiling with a Taliban insurgency, exploding at random, and sitting on the cultural and ideological fault line of conceivably everything.

Pakistan haven't played a Test in nearly a year, and prior to the series in Abu Dhabi hadn't played any ODIs since July. With no sign of wood meeting leather, fans have instead occupied themselves with whatever cricketing scraps they could get their hands on - cricket board politics, firing and hiring the coach, the soap opera of the naughty-boy du jour (Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, or Mohammad Yousuf - take your pick).

Then, one recent Abu Dhabi evening, Kamran Akmal hit those two last-over sixes for victory in the first ODI against West Indies. As the balls crashed into the stands behind long-off and point, it felt like the welcome patter of rain after a hard and bitter drought. West Indies had had the upper hand throughout the match until that point. Akmal reversed the momentum with a turnaround so energetic that Pakistan rode to a 3-0 series sweep.

Even the most unforgiving and sceptical followers were awestruck. I heard a female colleague, a trenchant critic who has never offered anything better than grudging praise, admire newcomer Khurram Manzoor as the great answer to Pakistan's incurable opening problem. An octogenarian fan, who has seen it all and loathes hyperbole, opined that Pakistan were turning a historic corner in the evolution of its cricket ethos. A friend who had supposedly given up following cricket altogether sent a text message, all in capital letters, that Sohail Tanvir's wicket-taking in-dipper to Chris Gayle in the second ODI was better than the best of Wasim Akram.

Even if events in Abu Dhabi were not that earth-shattering, you could forgive the fans for feeling that way. After the sadness and disappointments of an extremely lean year, Pakistan came out keenly motivated and driving hard. The on-field body language, the most sensitive gauge to a team's rhythm, was amazing. Batsmen looked opponents in the eye, bowlers snorted and charged, and fielders (most of them, anyway - this is Pakistan we're talking about) flung themselves around. Even Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik, never known to see eye to eye, exhibited a surprising range of male-bonding rituals, including smiling, back-slapping, draping arms over shoulders, and generously patting hips.

The national side was motivated by deprivation and disappointment, the Lahore Badshahs by half a million US dollars, and the loss in the last season's final. It was noticeable that Inzamam-ul-Haq was bending his back in the field with an assiduousness that was perhaps not always seen in his playing days for Pakistan. Whatever works, said the fans, and cheered him and his team on. Lahore didn't receive much coverage in the press, but their games had fans riveted. Some of their players, such as Imran Nazir and Saqlain Mushtaq, are beloved figures. There was also the chance to behold partnerships between Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamamul Haq, an exquisite pleasure we thought we had lost forever.

 
 
As Kamran Akmal's hits crashed into the stands behind long-off and point, it felt like the welcome patter of rain after a hard and bitter drought
 
Lahore have approached ICL with an arrogance that comes from a non-negotiable belief that you can hold your own against any team in the world. Last season's embarrassment, when they lost one of the finals in a bowl-out, only intensified their hunger. After a shaky start they peaked perfectly and entered the semi-finals at No. 2 on the points table. Sandwiched between the first and second ODIs in Abu Dhabi was the first match of ICL's best-of-three final, in which Lahore comfortably chased 170 against Hyderabad.

They were off-colour in the second match, but a stunning boundary catch from Justin Kemp had the unintended consequence of toughening their resolve immeasurably. Dean Jones called it the most awesome catch he had ever seen - check it out, it's not an exaggeration - but it stung the Badshahs, and from merely motivated they became menacingly murderous. The decider, held the same evening as the third Abu Dhabi ODI, featured a 44-ball detonation from Imran Nazir that fetched him 111 out of the winning total of 160.

Ultimately both Lahore and Pakistan were driven by revenge. The Badshahs wanted to scream in the PCB's face that their players, who are banned from playing for Pakistan, were as good as any. Pakistan wanted revenge against the geo-political winds, and the nameless and faceless terrorists that have led to their cricketing desolation.

How far the revenge motive was achieved, only time will tell. While it's been a good few days, prospects for international cricket in Pakistan are still shaky at best. The fans are slowly retreating to once again hiding their faces and licking their wounds.

So well done, Inzamam and Moin. Geo Super- our local sports channel - will televise it, the PCB will organise it (we'll talk to them very, very nicely), Cricinfo will spread the word, and the fans will cheer and chatter for a long time. Lahore Badshahs versus Pakistan could really kick-start the mood.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • princefaizi81 on November 21, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    Well the idea sounds quite interesting as far as viewers and fans are concerned. The idea of Imran Nazir thrashing Umer Gul in the Opening Spell, or vice versa gives rather a daunting experience worth to watch. Yousuf rubbing shoulders with Skipper Shoaib Malik, eye to eye thinking how to settle things will be a spicy movie rather a match. Rana Naveed destroying Salman Butt's middle stump or Misbah going after Shahid Nazir. The fire and anger between the two sides will be remarkable to see. Now come to face the reality, PCB is not going to monk itself or its players by accepting the challenge. Same way the BCCI,ICC,IPL will make sure it doesn't happen. So nice to write about but not a practical setup is possible in near future. One favor in return, the cricinfo should get in contact with the PCB and have their comments about such an event. Apart from the BCCI or IPL politics, what would be the major issue that would not let this game happen is my question to everyone.

  • Patrick_Clarke on November 20, 2008, 22:43 GMT

    After witnessing the idiocy of today's India v England match being halted by bad light when perfectly good floodlights were available and also seeing the recent Test Matches between India and Australia being played in empty stadiums because some half-wit came up with the idea that spectators could only buy a ticket for all five days of each match before being allowed in, I find the idea behind this article very refreshing. Badshahs v Pakistan? Why not? If the public want it bring it on, and also let's get rid of the idiots wrecking international cricket before its too late.

  • Imranzia on November 20, 2008, 20:06 GMT

    It is a brilliant idea. Pakistan team should take it as a challenge and prove themselves and to Inzimam why they are wearing national colors. But most important thing is that it would have commercial value and it organized properly this could do well commercially. They can start with a best of 3 20/20 series. No international cricket at home! Sensible solution.

  • Tareen on November 20, 2008, 19:08 GMT

    Hmmm its a very interesting thought guys. If the 20-20 match between Pak Team and Lahore Badshahs happens it might be a good crowd puller but I am afraid I don't see it happening. Firstly because ICC will not permit PCB to let Pak Team play against an ICL team. Secondly, PCB will not risk it. Look Pak Team is rusty and has just played and luckily won a series after a long time. Now if Pak Team were to lose against the Badshahs the National sides egos will get badly hurt and we can't afford that considering the future series especially against India. It will be a grudge match as the Badshahs will have a score to settle against PCB (not Pak Team). On the other hand Pak Team is a very talented side and I don't think they can be beaten that easily, so I don't believe for a second that Badshahs will just roll them over. I would personally love to watch it if it ever happens because it will be good for cricket and great for Pakistan.

  • play4fun on November 20, 2008, 17:53 GMT

    The BCCI is trying to control the game, ICC needs to step in, but they sat BCCI is responsible for internal matters/admin of cricket, what a laughing council, they have lights on the grounds and they dont want to use them on day ODI matches, haha. IPL is a copy of ICL, Cricket umpires review is copy of ICL. ICL World series is copy of ICC. Why not joing them together for the benefit of cricket? S.Jayasuriya/C.Vaas/M.Hayden are also old, but they produce the goods, why don't we give ICL the chance Vs IPL/Pak?

  • khanq on November 20, 2008, 15:22 GMT

    Well this could be great for Pakistan Cricket, show some light to other cricket countries against the arm twisting methods of IPL and BCCI, and finally of great entertainment value. I have always believed that IPL and ICL are one and the same, its benifiting Indian cricket, but harming other nations, either they should merge or both should be banned totally by ICC, what good have these leagues done to the game, its only an entertainment value cricket, nothing serious about these leagues, and to top it all we have another extravaganza coming up, the Champions league. All International commitments have gone for a toss.

  • metalhed on November 20, 2008, 15:03 GMT

    Isn't it ironic that ICC keeps chatting about popularising cicket, along comes ICL that's doing exactly that and it gets banned. So many more cricketers and audiences are getting a chance to involve themselves in quality cricket and if only ICC would only care to support such initiatives cricket could spread like wildfire. But no, the numbnuts are only too agreeable to being pushed around by the indian board. Wouldn't it catch even more eyeballs if say, the ICL champs were also present in the 20-20 champions league. Then we could see who really is past their prime and who still needs education.

  • RajkumarSelvakumar on November 20, 2008, 13:55 GMT

    Deja vu...First of all a gr8 idea.Its been long since there was any series with the clash of two equal teams. The days of SA vs Aus or IND vs PAk are gone 10 yrs ago. This is one series than can pump adrenaline.This will pave way for recogonizing LHR Badshahs and if they crush the pakistan team then some one has to answer why PCB fields a secondary XI as the natioanl team. Who knows this could be the door for the recogonization of ICL. Kapil is a revolutionary 1983-world cup for India and now 2008 -ICL.

    looking for the dream to come true. Thanks, Rajkumar

  • Sorcerer on November 20, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    Lahore Baadshahs is nothing more than a hotch-potch of retired and the rejects of Pak team. And those who turned their backs on the national team for the sake of a quick buck, they ought to be taken at face value. Knowing fully well that playing in the rebel league would finish their national careers, many of them still opted for quick money at the cost of representing their nation. Now the gall of them to challenge the national stars, it would be shameful if it were not hilarious. Quickly cast your eye over the ones playing ICL and it would dawn on you that great majority of players who feature there are past their sell-by date or were marginalised as being under-performers by their national teams. A swallow does not make a summer and beating blue the crocks of Hyderabad Deccan does not mean you have taken the world of cricket by storm or can take on a national team like that of Pak!

  • Punjabi1 on November 20, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    That will be awesome and most definitely 'Lahore' will beat 'Pakistan' which will be a big slap on PCB's face and expose their partial and dictatorial attitude towards genuine and desrving players. But my feeling is that just because of the fear of this outcome, PCB is not going to agree for such contest.

  • princefaizi81 on November 21, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    Well the idea sounds quite interesting as far as viewers and fans are concerned. The idea of Imran Nazir thrashing Umer Gul in the Opening Spell, or vice versa gives rather a daunting experience worth to watch. Yousuf rubbing shoulders with Skipper Shoaib Malik, eye to eye thinking how to settle things will be a spicy movie rather a match. Rana Naveed destroying Salman Butt's middle stump or Misbah going after Shahid Nazir. The fire and anger between the two sides will be remarkable to see. Now come to face the reality, PCB is not going to monk itself or its players by accepting the challenge. Same way the BCCI,ICC,IPL will make sure it doesn't happen. So nice to write about but not a practical setup is possible in near future. One favor in return, the cricinfo should get in contact with the PCB and have their comments about such an event. Apart from the BCCI or IPL politics, what would be the major issue that would not let this game happen is my question to everyone.

  • Patrick_Clarke on November 20, 2008, 22:43 GMT

    After witnessing the idiocy of today's India v England match being halted by bad light when perfectly good floodlights were available and also seeing the recent Test Matches between India and Australia being played in empty stadiums because some half-wit came up with the idea that spectators could only buy a ticket for all five days of each match before being allowed in, I find the idea behind this article very refreshing. Badshahs v Pakistan? Why not? If the public want it bring it on, and also let's get rid of the idiots wrecking international cricket before its too late.

  • Imranzia on November 20, 2008, 20:06 GMT

    It is a brilliant idea. Pakistan team should take it as a challenge and prove themselves and to Inzimam why they are wearing national colors. But most important thing is that it would have commercial value and it organized properly this could do well commercially. They can start with a best of 3 20/20 series. No international cricket at home! Sensible solution.

  • Tareen on November 20, 2008, 19:08 GMT

    Hmmm its a very interesting thought guys. If the 20-20 match between Pak Team and Lahore Badshahs happens it might be a good crowd puller but I am afraid I don't see it happening. Firstly because ICC will not permit PCB to let Pak Team play against an ICL team. Secondly, PCB will not risk it. Look Pak Team is rusty and has just played and luckily won a series after a long time. Now if Pak Team were to lose against the Badshahs the National sides egos will get badly hurt and we can't afford that considering the future series especially against India. It will be a grudge match as the Badshahs will have a score to settle against PCB (not Pak Team). On the other hand Pak Team is a very talented side and I don't think they can be beaten that easily, so I don't believe for a second that Badshahs will just roll them over. I would personally love to watch it if it ever happens because it will be good for cricket and great for Pakistan.

  • play4fun on November 20, 2008, 17:53 GMT

    The BCCI is trying to control the game, ICC needs to step in, but they sat BCCI is responsible for internal matters/admin of cricket, what a laughing council, they have lights on the grounds and they dont want to use them on day ODI matches, haha. IPL is a copy of ICL, Cricket umpires review is copy of ICL. ICL World series is copy of ICC. Why not joing them together for the benefit of cricket? S.Jayasuriya/C.Vaas/M.Hayden are also old, but they produce the goods, why don't we give ICL the chance Vs IPL/Pak?

  • khanq on November 20, 2008, 15:22 GMT

    Well this could be great for Pakistan Cricket, show some light to other cricket countries against the arm twisting methods of IPL and BCCI, and finally of great entertainment value. I have always believed that IPL and ICL are one and the same, its benifiting Indian cricket, but harming other nations, either they should merge or both should be banned totally by ICC, what good have these leagues done to the game, its only an entertainment value cricket, nothing serious about these leagues, and to top it all we have another extravaganza coming up, the Champions league. All International commitments have gone for a toss.

  • metalhed on November 20, 2008, 15:03 GMT

    Isn't it ironic that ICC keeps chatting about popularising cicket, along comes ICL that's doing exactly that and it gets banned. So many more cricketers and audiences are getting a chance to involve themselves in quality cricket and if only ICC would only care to support such initiatives cricket could spread like wildfire. But no, the numbnuts are only too agreeable to being pushed around by the indian board. Wouldn't it catch even more eyeballs if say, the ICL champs were also present in the 20-20 champions league. Then we could see who really is past their prime and who still needs education.

  • RajkumarSelvakumar on November 20, 2008, 13:55 GMT

    Deja vu...First of all a gr8 idea.Its been long since there was any series with the clash of two equal teams. The days of SA vs Aus or IND vs PAk are gone 10 yrs ago. This is one series than can pump adrenaline.This will pave way for recogonizing LHR Badshahs and if they crush the pakistan team then some one has to answer why PCB fields a secondary XI as the natioanl team. Who knows this could be the door for the recogonization of ICL. Kapil is a revolutionary 1983-world cup for India and now 2008 -ICL.

    looking for the dream to come true. Thanks, Rajkumar

  • Sorcerer on November 20, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    Lahore Baadshahs is nothing more than a hotch-potch of retired and the rejects of Pak team. And those who turned their backs on the national team for the sake of a quick buck, they ought to be taken at face value. Knowing fully well that playing in the rebel league would finish their national careers, many of them still opted for quick money at the cost of representing their nation. Now the gall of them to challenge the national stars, it would be shameful if it were not hilarious. Quickly cast your eye over the ones playing ICL and it would dawn on you that great majority of players who feature there are past their sell-by date or were marginalised as being under-performers by their national teams. A swallow does not make a summer and beating blue the crocks of Hyderabad Deccan does not mean you have taken the world of cricket by storm or can take on a national team like that of Pak!

  • Punjabi1 on November 20, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    That will be awesome and most definitely 'Lahore' will beat 'Pakistan' which will be a big slap on PCB's face and expose their partial and dictatorial attitude towards genuine and desrving players. But my feeling is that just because of the fear of this outcome, PCB is not going to agree for such contest.

  • Bilal_Akram on November 20, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    A great article indeed. Many congratulations to all the Pakistani fans, cricketers both from Pakistan team and Lahore Badshahs for providing us with great couple of weeks of cricket and joy. It would be an amazing contest of cricket between the two teams and hopefully the management will have a good think about it. It would be very good for the cricket in Pakistan and greatly help in bringing back the cricketing fans which seem to be deserting the game and will also help in brining the much needed money to PCB as well. I must congratulate kamran akmal for producing a thriller and one of the best 50 over matches that i have seen, it really brought home the point that 50 over game is not boring and also showed the professionalism and resolve of Pakistani team to never say die even till the last moment!! Very well done both teams we are proud of both of you.

  • amirdoit on November 20, 2008, 12:55 GMT

    Lahore Badshahs a good team but not as much as Pak national team. They will never be able to win against Pak's national team.

    Imran nazir is good player but not reliable, n keep in mind Misbha is a superman of domestic cricket, he is very hard hitter//

  • Cric_123 on November 20, 2008, 12:52 GMT

    Lahore Badshahs Vs Pakistan. OMG...Don't live in a fool's paradise. I'm amazed to see that some people really think Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat can smash Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul & Afridi in the same manner as they exhibited against the substandard bowlers in ICL. Don't forget that these guys have been big failures on international stage and Pakistan still has some high quality bowlers.

    Apart from Mohammad Yousaf, every Lahore Badshahs player had either retired or had been dropped due to poor performance when they opted for ICL.

    I believe only Yousaf, Saqlain and Rana can compete against Pakistan side in a 20-20 game. Even the latter 2 will fail miserably in a 50 over game b'coz they are not fit enough. Have a look at their waist lines guys and stop dreaming.

  • Sulman_Shah on November 20, 2008, 12:49 GMT

    A very well composed article with a great tempting idea..but as we far as we know of PCB,its a far cry.It is never going t0 happen,though,Inzi himself blew the whistle to make up for the lack of competitive cricket in the country,in fact,no cricket to be precise. Coming to Badshahs..yes they did win it n won it biggg..but are some of the guys telling me that Nazir will be hitting Shoaib over his head coming down the track or over long on of one knee or etc. etc ?? Nazir,no doubt,is a talent..huge talent but how many genuine bowlers did Hyderabad have ?? NOT a single one..with all due respect,Razzak is no more a world class bowler with his gentle & medium pace.And some saying that Badshahs is a better outfit than the national side ?? Ghoosshh..common sense has to prevail somewhere, it really has to.Well,if this miracle happens,many of my friends will be disappointed..hugely disappointed.National side,with all its curses,will surely give the so-called Badshahs run,and a good one too.

  • xfearless on November 20, 2008, 12:37 GMT

    hi everyone. congrats to pakistan national and the banned team. well i believe pakistan national team will be criticized by other boards and icc if they play a match against lahore badashas. Because all the boards have agreed that it is an illegal league. let things go its way dont get pakistani team under more stress.

  • Naskhan on November 20, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    I think Imran Nazeer and some lahore badhshah players are should play pakistan national team. becouse that team better then pakistan national team.

  • jin4cric on November 20, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    Big Inzy is always proposing interesting matches. First it was ICL vs IPL and now this.Hopefully the latter is finalized unlike the former.

  • Big_Chikka on November 20, 2008, 10:47 GMT

    Whats at stake? Pride!!!!!!!!!!! All proceeds to charity? Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! One match, 20/20? No!! 50 Overs a side. Separate the men from the boys. I might then just be inclined to pay a couple of quid to watch. Otherwise who cares? Certainly not a Pakistani tired of the joke that is called the PCB. Predication: National team to destroy the Badshas!

  • RaashidShunthoo on November 20, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    Indeed Pakistan Cricket has progressed to such a stage that administrators of the game will have to rethink and probably change their plan of action. Lahore Badshah most certainly are much more acclomplished and cohesive unit than Pakistan Team itself.Indeed money is that matters most but surely not with any disregard and humilation.Inzamam, Sami, Rana, Imran Nazir & etal were all considered past their prime date or should i say expiry date by PCB. For Mohammad Yousuf, he never got what is deserved.As per the writer if he feels the these bunch players from Lahore Badshah did not bend their backs enough when they played for Pakistan, they are in no way responsible for that, as it was rusty and callous attitude of PCB and most importantly uncertainity which prevalied in their selection.They have proved beyond any doubt that they are still a force to reckon with and given the chance they will wipe over national team of Pakistan on any given time.Try to take them along with PCB line

  • kingishere on November 20, 2008, 7:34 GMT

    I echo the sentiment shown in most of the readers comments above. It will never happen because Lahore Baadshah is much better and superior team than the current Pakistani team. Not only in 20twenty but even in a test match. With Inzy, Yousuf, Razzaq, Naved and Md Sami. The current Pakistani team does not have anyone other than Younus Khan and Kamran Akmal who can play a long test inings. Younus Khan also is very edgy in the start of the inings. Shoib Malik is a good player but can't expect him to play long inings regularly. Misbah keeps innovating how to get out. With no Md Yousuf in the pakistani team I doubt they will be able to take the test matches in the upcoming series against India beyond three days. So I think the BCCI should plan three day test matches for the series.

  • Usman.Khan_True.Pakistani on November 20, 2008, 7:29 GMT

    Hi! It been an interesting article to read on. Well done Mr. Saad as u done a great job. Well i also wanted or even lots of people too wanted a match between our National Team (Pak) with LHR Badshahs. Its a great Idea. And PCB have to think this seriously as its gud for Pakistan cricket & their cricketing fans all around the globe and its gud for generating a money as well. Now its time to show that Pakistan is safe to Play & their People enjoy there sport. So comeon guys take this bold step for the sake of Pakistan. Lots of people thinks that LHR Badshahs hammered Pak Team badly if it goes on but i have a different opinion as Pakistan Team is also in gud touch & their players like "Misbah, Afridi & Akhtar or even Malik have ability to destroy the opposition. So be aware. Thanks Usman from Lahore.

  • aslam5 on November 20, 2008, 6:45 GMT

    It is an excellent idea. With new PCB faces, I think good sense should prevail. Every one in the world has a choice about their future but for Pakistani cricketers.It is even against basic human right. I am surprised human right activists have also turned blind eye. However, coming back to the suggestion, I think the best of 3 games between Lahore Badshah & Pakistan, will provide the cricket deprived nationals of Pakistan to watch some cricket & above all provide an opportunity to test the resolve of Pakistani people that they can hold big events. I am sure the event will attract lot of crowd from overseas too which is good for Pakistan in every respect. Successful holding of event will leave no justification for other countries to refuse to play in Pakistan on one pretext or the other.Either PCB cease on the opportunity or somebody else will take it to neutral ground with rest of the world. I think Mr. Ijaz Butt & Mr.Javed Miandad should consider for the good of cricket & cricketers.

  • Sampdoria on November 20, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Interesting prospect - especially considering that the PCB is cash-strapped.

  • kmy777 on November 20, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    M.YaqoobKhan. Nov-20,2008 Saudi Arabia

    Congratilation to both the teams,Lahore badshah And Pakistan National team for their out staning efforts to win ICL final and 3-0 win against West Indese. In year 2008, very less cricket matches played by pak.national team. I think team need practice ahead of coming series against indian cricket team. So it is not a bad idea to have a (05) days test match with Lahore badshah. It will give a great practice and also the fans will get a lot of joys to see the interesting match. So I strongly recommend and URGE the PCB to arrange this wonderful test match or one day series. Thanks for your time to read my comments.

  • ajju.cool on November 20, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    It'll be great to see lahore Badshah's vs Pakistan. but i think lahoe badshahs will win if its a 20-20 match.... man with the form of imran nazir, farhat n naved.... they wil thrash the pakistans national team.

  • faforce on November 20, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    That would be a dream come true. But something tells me Pakistani fans are going to take it to the street if the Lahore were to win vs. Pakistan and all of a sudden the ban on ICL players is going to become way too political. It's Pakistani, anything can happen.

    With fans like those that ICL has, it's only a matter of time before ICC will recognize the ICL. PCB shouldn't be so harsh on the players playing for ICL. As a fan of the game, my passion is cricket, and not who the boss is. BCCI should realize the ground realities and save some face, sooner the better.

  • DonQ on November 20, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    Even before Cricinfo, the word has been going around the cricket blogs for atleast 2 weeks.. and now Inzi the man has laid down an open Challenge as well! It may happen sooner rather than later.. only how would the ICC/BCCI react?

  • SOHAILQ on November 20, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    It is indeed a GREAT idea and cricket fans will really love to see this contest. I would like to request Mr. Ijaz Butt and the great Miandad to please seriously consider this option for the sake of Pakistan's cricket and its cricket fans!

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on November 20, 2008, 5:11 GMT

    I doubt such a match would take place thanks to the establishment's attitude toward the ICL. By the way, isn't it funny how Imran Nazir needs a runner every time he's in the zone? And somehow he finds it in him to strut down the wicket and smack the bowlers over their heads.

  • Sekhar_S on November 20, 2008, 4:57 GMT

    Lahore Badshahs vs Pakistan!! Inzamam-ul-Haq vs Shoaib Malik! Sounds interesting.Would be good if it happens.

  • Haider on November 20, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    will never happen. but the badshahs will give pak a whopping

  • king1985 on November 20, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    Lahore Badshah will roll over the Pakistan National side like a bulldozer our sand. Badshah's are jacked and in roaring form for T20 Cricket. Pakistan national side has just lost to Srilanka in Canada. PCB knows it and they will never agree to it. Even if they do agree, like i said Badshah's will destroy current Pakistan side by far! However, i must mention, that it will be a cracker of a game! especially if its best of 3......Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Moin will agree but i think the main problem is PCB or perhaps..BCCI??

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  • king1985 on November 20, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    Lahore Badshah will roll over the Pakistan National side like a bulldozer our sand. Badshah's are jacked and in roaring form for T20 Cricket. Pakistan national side has just lost to Srilanka in Canada. PCB knows it and they will never agree to it. Even if they do agree, like i said Badshah's will destroy current Pakistan side by far! However, i must mention, that it will be a cracker of a game! especially if its best of 3......Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Moin will agree but i think the main problem is PCB or perhaps..BCCI??

  • Haider on November 20, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    will never happen. but the badshahs will give pak a whopping

  • Sekhar_S on November 20, 2008, 4:57 GMT

    Lahore Badshahs vs Pakistan!! Inzamam-ul-Haq vs Shoaib Malik! Sounds interesting.Would be good if it happens.

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on November 20, 2008, 5:11 GMT

    I doubt such a match would take place thanks to the establishment's attitude toward the ICL. By the way, isn't it funny how Imran Nazir needs a runner every time he's in the zone? And somehow he finds it in him to strut down the wicket and smack the bowlers over their heads.

  • SOHAILQ on November 20, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    It is indeed a GREAT idea and cricket fans will really love to see this contest. I would like to request Mr. Ijaz Butt and the great Miandad to please seriously consider this option for the sake of Pakistan's cricket and its cricket fans!

  • DonQ on November 20, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    Even before Cricinfo, the word has been going around the cricket blogs for atleast 2 weeks.. and now Inzi the man has laid down an open Challenge as well! It may happen sooner rather than later.. only how would the ICC/BCCI react?

  • faforce on November 20, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    That would be a dream come true. But something tells me Pakistani fans are going to take it to the street if the Lahore were to win vs. Pakistan and all of a sudden the ban on ICL players is going to become way too political. It's Pakistani, anything can happen.

    With fans like those that ICL has, it's only a matter of time before ICC will recognize the ICL. PCB shouldn't be so harsh on the players playing for ICL. As a fan of the game, my passion is cricket, and not who the boss is. BCCI should realize the ground realities and save some face, sooner the better.

  • ajju.cool on November 20, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    It'll be great to see lahore Badshah's vs Pakistan. but i think lahoe badshahs will win if its a 20-20 match.... man with the form of imran nazir, farhat n naved.... they wil thrash the pakistans national team.

  • kmy777 on November 20, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    M.YaqoobKhan. Nov-20,2008 Saudi Arabia

    Congratilation to both the teams,Lahore badshah And Pakistan National team for their out staning efforts to win ICL final and 3-0 win against West Indese. In year 2008, very less cricket matches played by pak.national team. I think team need practice ahead of coming series against indian cricket team. So it is not a bad idea to have a (05) days test match with Lahore badshah. It will give a great practice and also the fans will get a lot of joys to see the interesting match. So I strongly recommend and URGE the PCB to arrange this wonderful test match or one day series. Thanks for your time to read my comments.

  • Sampdoria on November 20, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Interesting prospect - especially considering that the PCB is cash-strapped.