Lahore: The former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has said he can assemble a quality World XI to come and play in the country if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is willing to bear the expenses.
Latif's comments came after the chairman of the PCB, Zaka Ashraf, said if Bangladesh do not send their team to Pakistan next month the board would look at other options, including inviting a World XI to the country which has not hosted an international match since March 2009.
Ashraf also spoke about the offer made by Latif. "If Rashid Latif wants to bring a World XI to Pakistan, we would be glad to support him in doing this," he told reporters in Islamabad.
But Latif said while it was possible to assemble a team, the costs would have to be borne by the Board.
"If the PCB is willing to take care of the costs involved, I am ready work on this project. I am confident that a World XI made up of players from different countries can be convinced to come to Pakistan," Latif said.
The former wicketkeeper-batsman pointed out that there are players who retired recently and some who are still active, willing to play in Pakistan.
"I have been associated with the Lashings club in England for some years and they have players on their roll who have said they can come and play. I had floated this idea of a World XI back in January. The board even called me once to inquire about it but than I think they got busy and focussed on inviting Bangladesh to Pakistan," Latif said.
With no international team having played in Pakistan since March 2009 - when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, leaving six Pakistani policemen and a van driver dead - the PCB is desperate to revive international cricket in the country.
"If I recall even Shahid Afridi had said recently he had spoken to players in the Big Bash tournament in Australia who were interested in playing in Pakistan," said Latif.