Salman Butt welcomes ICC’s plan to send World XI team to Pak

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2010, 11:10 AM IST

Karachi: Welcoming ICC’s plan to send a World XI team to Pakistan sometime next year to help revive international cricket in the country, Pakistan captain Salman Butt has said that not getting opportunity to play matches at home had hurt the players.

Pakistan has been deprived of international cricket since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore last year.

If that was not enough the International Cricket Council also shifted Pakistan’s share of 2011 World Cup to other hosting nations due to security concerns.

“It is great to hear that they have plans to send a World XI team to Pakistan because there is a dire need to have international cricket at home. For the last one-and-half year we have also played our home series abroad,” Salman said.

“Pakistan is the only country in the cricket world that is unable to host any cricket at home. We have to play all our matches abroad and that is hurting us. We have lost the home advantage and that is a huge factor,” he told ‘The News’.

“I believe a World XI team visiting our country is a great news for Pakistan,” the Pakistan skipper added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman of the Ejaz Butt told reporters yesterday that the World XI team should tour Pakistan sometime next year after the World Cup.

“The concept is to have two players from each country in the World XI, including India but I can’t give details of the dates or venues or match schedule at this stage,” Butt said.

He said ICC and its member boards have been very supportive of Pakistan cricket and understood the problems it was facing because of the security situation at home.

“Our finances have been affected adversely and simply we need to have international players playing in Pakistan for the future of the sport,” Butt said.

Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail said for Pakistan the key at the moment was to keep on playing maximum international cricket.

“Obviously not playing at home means we don’t have the advantage of blooding our youngsters at home in familiar conditions to give them required confidence before taking them abroad. But it also means that now our young players are learning the ropes in international cricket the hard way and will be better players,” Sohail said.