Strong Pakistan squad for exhibition matches
Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan captain, will lead a Test-strength side against an Asian XI for two exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia in an effort to promote the game in the region. The matches are scheduled for May 25 and 26.
The matches will be played at the Al-Ahli stadium in Jeddah on artificial turf, and officials expect both to be fully sold out. Supported by the Saudi Cricket Centre, formed by expatriates from Pakistan and India, it is hoped that the event will convince the government and locals that interest in the sport is growing in the region.
Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat, Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Sami are all set to play for Pakistan, whose side will essentially be their Test XI.
Four Sri Lankans and four Bangladeshis join five Indians to form the Asian XI, which will be captained by VVS Laxman. The team also includes Ajay Jadeja, the former India batsman, who has served a five-year ban imposed for match fixing in 2000.
Pakistan XI: Inzamam-ul Haq (capt), Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal (wk), Arshad Khan, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria
Asian XI: VVS Laxman (capt), Gautum Gambhir, Ajay Jadeja, Shahadat Hossain, Venkatapathy Raju, Wasim Jaffer, Shahriar Nafees, Roshan Mahanama, Romesh Kaluwitharana (wk), Kumar Dharmasena, Dilhara Fernando, Mohammad Rafique, Aftab Ahmed