World XI may be roped in for Abu Dhabi tie

Published: Sunday, May 2, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Abu Dhabi:With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying no to the proposed India-Pakistan exhibition match in Abu Dhabi, cricket officials are contemplating replacing the Indian XI with a World XI for the day-night match on May 14.

The Abu Dhabi Cricket Control Board (ADCCB) president and managing director B R Shetty, who returned on Saturday night from India, claimed that he had spoken to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya and the Indian Minister for Sports Vikram Verma.

"I spoke to Dalmiya and he said our request will be put before the Board. However, that will take time and we will now seek our chairman Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan's permission to try and field a World XI," Shetty told the Gulf News.

"Sports minister Vikram Verma was also very supportive and said he will also try and do his best," Shetty said.

"There will be a One-day match on May 14 and the prize money of $ 100,000 will be on offer. As we have said before, for us it is the inaugural match of the stadium - that is important and as much as we would like it to be an Indian XI vs Pakistan XI contest, we are also looking at a contingency plan," he said.

"If the Indian XI does not come we will try and get a better eleven from other Test playing countries," Shetty said.

Shetty, who is also a prominent NRI businessman in Dubai, thanked Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq for the support he showed to ADCCB.

"I also would like to convey my gratitude to Inzamam-ul-Haq and the current Pakistan cricketers who have stood by us," Shetty said adding that he "would not like to disappoint the UAE fans and pending approval from Sheikh Nahyan, we hope to get some top players".

With quite a few Test teams busy playing now, it is expected that mainly players from England, New Zealand and South Africa would be roped in for the match.

The BCCI had said on Saturday that as far as it was concerned nobody had sought permission for the match and the matter was closed.

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