Efforts are on to bring together India and Pakistan cricketers, including batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and speedster Shoaib Akthar, in one team for four one-day matches against a Rest of the World Eleven, to be played in Mumbai, Kolkata, England and Lahore later this year or early next year.
"Though the players, including Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who will turn out for the Rest of the World, have agreed to play, we are still to get permission from the International Cricket Council and respective cricket boards," Sanjay Jha, the founder of the company managing the event, told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday.
"We are confident that the respective boards will give the green signal as we want to have the matches either in September this year, after the Champions Trophy, or January next, when the players will be free from their commitments to their respective countries," Jha added.
Incidentally, the Indian team will be busy playing till September 25 after leaving for the August 21 to 28 tri-series in Holland.
"The matches will be jointly organised by Nine Yards Sports and Entertainment and the Citizens Council for the Better Tomorrow (CCBT) and would be called the Sadbhavana Cricket Series," Jha said.
"The matches are likely to be held at Old Trafford (Manchester), Gadaffi stadium (Lahore), Eden Gardens (Kolkata) and Brabourne stadium (Mumbai)," he added.
M N Singh, former Mumbai police commissioner and CCBT member said, "The entire effort is to foster a strong long-term relation between the two great countries so that we cement and further fortify the current flow of unity, harmony and friendship between India and Pakistan, through the passionate and inspirational theatre of international cricket featuring stars such as Sachin Tendulkar, Inzamam-ul Haq and Ricky Ponting."
The list of proposed players:
Rest of the World Eleven:
Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting (all Australia), Jacques Kallis, Herchelle Gibbs, Mkhaya Ntini (all South Africa), Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle (both New Zealand), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas (both Sri Lanka), Brian Lara and Mervin Dhillon (both West Indies).
Indo-Pak Eleven: Inzamam-ul Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, Moin Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammed Sami and Saqlain Mustaq (all Pakistan), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.