Pakistani cricket officials are making efforts to stage an exhibition Twenty20 match against India or Sri Lanka on the sidelines of next month’s World Twenty20 Championship in England to raise funds for the thousands of displaced people in the Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan.
According to a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been approached to confirm a fund-raiser for the victims of the ongoing military operation in northern Pakistan against Taliban militants.
Mohammad Ali Shah, a member of the PCB Governing Board and also the President of Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), said the PCB is trying to fix a match against India or Sri Lanka in England to raise funds for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who were forced to flee their homes because of the ongoing operation.
The United Nations has warned of a long-term humanitarian crisis and called for massive aid for those displaced.
“I hope the ICC will support our efforts to raise funds for the refugees in England,” said Shah, who is also the provincial sports minister in Sindh.
The PCB is hoping to set up a match against India as such a game would help raise substantial funds because of the huge Asian population in England.
Pakistan and India have suspended sporting ties following last November's terrorist attack in Mumbai. India refused to send its cricket team to Pakistan last year while Pakistan decided against clearing their cricketers' visit to India to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was later shifted to South Africa.
Pakistan also decided against sending its hockey team to India to play in a four-nation event earlier this year.