Jayasuriya hails Pakistan's 'grand occasion'

Published: Oct 21, 2012, 08:56 IST | AFP |

International flavour returns to Pakistan

Security was tight on Saturday as Pakistan hosted the first match of an international flavour in the country since 2009, when militants attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team.

Pak fans outside Karachi’s National Stadium on Saturday. Pic/AFP

A sell-out 32,000 crowd at the well-cordoned National stadium watched an International World XI led by former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya play All Stars Pakistan led by current allrounder Shahid Afridi.

The unofficial match, organised by sports minister of Sindh province Mohammad Ali Shah but backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), is seen as a small step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan.

“It is a grand occasion,” Jayasuriya said at the toss. “All the players are excited to be the part of this match and the enthusiasm of the fans makes it a befitting occasion.” Meanwhile, Pakistan All Star XI scored a mammoth 222-7 in 20 overs. Umar Akmal remained unbeaten on 67 while Shahzaib Hasan made 54 off 25 balls. 

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