Afridi luring top stars with double-wicket event
Shahid Afridi says a number of stars have expressed an interest in participating in a double-wicket competition which the flamboyant all-rounder hopes to organize soon in Pakistan in an effort to bring back international cricket to the country.
“When I was in Australia playing in the Big Bash tournament, I spoke to a number of top players from different countries to get their feedback on whether they would be interested in traveling to Pakistan for a double wicket competition,” Afridi said.
“That is why now I am seriously planning to organise a double wicket competition with foreign players in a befitting manner but dates and venues will be decided later,” he said.
“New Zealand’s former captain Daniel Vettori, West Indian Chris Gayle and some Australian players were among those with whom I discussed this proposal and they expressed great interest in it and in playing in Pakistan,” Afridi added.
No Test playing nation has visited the country since March, 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and injuring some members of the visiting team.
Although Pakistan has a home series against Bangladesh lined up for April, it unclear whether they will receive clearance from government authorities to make the trip.
But according to Afridi, most of the players he had discussions with about the issue are willing to travel.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), meanwhile, said that while Afridi had not discussed the matter with them, they would extend full support to him if such a tournament were to be planned.
“We ourselves have written letters to the ICC and all Test playing nations, including India, to help us revive international cricket in Pakistan and this is part of our new initiative to take steps to bring some teams to the country,” a PCB official said.