Organisers pay hefty sum for resuming international cricket in Pak

Updated: Oct 22, 2012, 20:38 PM IST

Karachi: The organisers of the two Twenty20 exhibition matches between the International World XI and the Pakistan Stars XI paid a whopping USD 145,000 to the members of the visiting team to convince them to come and play in the country.

"They paid around USD 145,000 (approximately 14 million rupees) to the members of the International World XI to come and play in Pakistan," a source, close to the organisers, said here today.

In all, the organising committee incurred around 35 million rupees to bring back some semblance of international cricket to the country, he said.

"The amount was paid out in advance to the visiting players with the highest amount obviously going to their captain, Sanath Jayasuriya," the source added.

The matches were staged from the platform of the Asghar Ali Shah foundation with the help of the Sindh government.

The foundation that is headed by the Sindh sports minister, Mohammad Ali Shah, took the help of a foreign sports management company, Extreme Sports, to rope in the players.

Badr Rafi, a former Pakistani first class player and a US national who is associated with Extreme sports, helped the foundation to make the idea a success. He is also employed with the PCB on contract.

"Dr Shah had convinced foreign players to come to Pakistan with the assistance of Rafi and Extreme Sports," the source said.

He told PTI that the visiting players made it clear they wanted advance cash payments to fulfill their obligations on their four-day stay in Karachi.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board didn`t provide any financial assistance for the matches but allowed us to use the national stadium free of cost and also released their contracted players for the match," a member of the organising committee said.

Since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, no test playing nation has visited Pakistan because of security fears.

The two T20 games in Karachi were the first ones to be played on the Pakistani soil after a hiatus of more than three years.

PCB Chairman, Zaka Ashraf told reporters that he saw international cricket returning to Pakistan sometime in 2013.

The organising committee official said that since both matches were broadcast live, they hoped to make some recovery of funds from the earnings.

"The biggest surprise for us was the huge crowd turnout, many of whom had purchased tickets for the matches. But 30 per cent of the revenue from gate money will go towards the flood relief fund of the Sindh government," he explained.