It’s great that ‘International’ cricket (I’ve contradicted myself already!) has returned to Pakistan. Let’s put it another way, it’s great that crowd drawing cricket complete with international stars has returned to Pakistan. It’s fantastic that the national team are hosting matches and playing in their own country but… international cricket should be reserved for nation versus nation and that’s why the matches currently taking place between Pakistan and World XI should not have been granted international status.
Meaning no disrespect to say, Ben Cutting for example. A professional cricketer who has merited and had the honour of representing his country, he is not currently close to a recall to the Australian team. Now however, his official statistics have included in them some more international caps. When you visit his Cricinfo profile page, his last T20I outing no longer shows as him donning the gold and green for Oz a few years ago but Pakistan vs. World XI this week. It’s a joke and disrespectful to all who have represented their nations. If anything, this ensemble of international stars serves only to promote the IPL, Big Bash and PSL more than it does to promote genuine international cricket… and as for Paul Collingwood having his career international stats tampered with!
This isn’t the first time this has happened. I remember Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff playing Tests (Tests? Do me a favour!) for World XI against Australia.
I’ll repeat that it’s great that cricket being played by the top players is happening again in Pakistan and I have huge respect for Ben Cutting and all the other players who have carved out professional careers and earned the right to represent their national sides but these particular matches should be limited to domestic T20 status and not international T20 status.