Pakistan news October 20, 2012

Lara declines to play T20 matches in Pakistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brian Lara was made an offer to play for the International XI in the two unofficial Twenty20 matches in Karachi but he refused because he was concerned about the message his participation would send out, given that the PCB had disassociated itself from the games.

"Yes, an offer was made to me," Lara told the Trinidad Guardian. "Until such time as the governing body in Pakistan [PCB] is able to convince the rest of the world that the best safety mechanisms have been put in place, and the ICC agrees, I would have to say no."

The Twenty20 games between the International XI and a Pakistan All Stars XI at the National Stadium will mark the return of international players and cricket, albeit unofficial, to Pakistan for the first time since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

The PCB issued No Objection Certificates to its contracted players to play the games and allowed the use of the venue but maintained the games were unofficial and unsanctioned. The Sindh sports minister, Mohammad Ali Shah, with the support of the Karachi government, arranged all logistic and security arrangements as well as the broadcasting deal. It was reported that the total cost of staging the matches was Rs 3 crore ($314,300 approximately*).

The three West Indians in the International XI are former players Ricardo Powell, Jermaine Lawson and Adam Sanford, while Alvin Kallicharran is the coach and manager. Both Kallicharran and Powell, who was Lara's team-mate, said they were happy to be part of this venture.

"To be honest, yes I was a bit hesitant initially, having heard stories of different kinds about playing in Pakistan," Powell told the News. "But when I was told by the organisers that everything is in order I took their word and I am here in front of you. I am feeling at home here and there are no reservations in my mind. I have played against Pakistan but this is my first visit to this country."

*11:39 GMT, October 20: The amount in dollars was initially wrongly stated. This has been corrected.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jaz on October 22, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Most of them were retired players but Pakistan wanted to show world that we can provide fool proof security to International teams, thanks to all these players who participated, thanks to Jaisuriya. As thousands miles journey always starts with the 1st step, so this is the first step. It would have been great if Lara would have participated as good will jesture, neverthless, it was great show, people of Pakistan showed that we love cricket, terrirrosim cannot stop our passion towrds sports or cricket.

  • Shipu on October 22, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    I don't blame him he has better things to do like be an ambassador :)

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Lara was a great player. His decision to opt out of T20 matches in Pakistan is his choice which should be respected.

  • Taqi on October 21, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Yes, I agree... Lara is not a T20 Player. His are is over now. PCB should invite currently domestic players from international teams like Srilanka, Newzeland, west indies, Zimbabwe, australia, england...etc.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Lara used to be good batsman that was a long time ago. The reality as, He a useless batsman in now days. Wast of time to give him so much while he can't contribute anything. Jasuriya is good batsman He was there.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    This was a bad decision. As respected and amongst the best, i am sure many wld have liked to see Lara bat. He should have taken the leaf from others...

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster: you have always got a thing to say about pakistan... Who is asking you to "tour" Pakistan... ? The terrible news that you hear is quite frequently Glorified by the Sensational Media of the sub continent.

  • Mian Murad on October 20, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    @Krishna Chaitanya: Yes, you're right. They could have looked for T20 players currently playing in england, australia, srilanka, new zealand etc, or they could have asked associate teams players currently playing, there are tons of good players in associate teams. Still its a positive sign for us but it could've been much better.

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Its a start but this is not an international team. As a pakistani still worried about security.

  • Ameer Hamza on October 20, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Sanath,we have to proud on you and srilanka team.

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