World XI vs Pakistan All-Stars
By Dervon Wallace
Young excited USA opening batsman Steven Taylor has been selected to be part of a World XI team to be led by former Sri Lanka batting sensation Sanath Jayasuriya against a Pakistan All-star team led by Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi in two exhibition matches on October 20 and 21st.

Steven Taylor. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

The 18 year old Florida native who was one of the standout of the Steve Massiah led USA team on their resent tour of Malaysia in the ICC World Cricket League Division Four in September where he finished second overall at the tournament with 216 runs at an average of 36.00 including two half-centuries at a strike rate of 104.85. Taylor will be joined in the World XI squad by former West Indies test bowlers Adam Sanford who plays in the Brooklyn Cricket League and represent the New York Region in the past along with Jermaine Lawson who over the last few years has been parading his skills throughout the USA, most recently representing Metropolitan Cricket League triple crown champions Westbury Cricket Club, also included is former Jamaica/Trinidad &Tobago and West Indies Middle order batsman Ricardo Powell.

The two matches on Saturday and Sunday in Karachi are aimed at taking Pakistan a little further towards a resumption of home internationals, suspended since a deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. The event, however, will not be PCB sanctioned after the board refused taking responsibility of the arrangements, including the most important security issues. The national team players nonetheless, have been handed ‘No Objection Certificate’ to take part in the two matches.

However the matches were in doubt after the games governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) object to the naming of the touring team. The dispute arose from the using of the name” World XI” as the ICC doesn’t permit the name World XI for exhibition matches an ICC spokesman told AFP from Dubai.

Mohammad Ali Shah, sports minister for Sindh province, said the matches were backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and are aimed to restore international cricket in the country. Responding to the ICC’s concerns, Shah said the matches would go ahead.”There is nothing controversial in it,” Shah told AFP. “It will be an International World XI and the matches will go ahead as per schedule.”

The matches are schedule to be played at the National Stadium in Karachi. Former West Indian batsman Alvin Kallicharan will manage the World XI.

Pakistan All-star from: Shahid Afridi, (captain) Younis Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz and Imran Nazir.

International World XI:  Sanath Jayasuriya(captain) Adam Sanford, Jermaine Lawson, Steven Taylor, Ricardo Powell, South African: Justin Kemp, Loots Bosman, Nantie Hayward, Andre Nel. Afghani: Shapoor Zadran and Mohammad Shahzad.