The great and the good of English and Pakistani cricket met at Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground today to formally launch the neutral Test which will be played between Pakistan and Australia at the ground in July 2010.
Giles Clarke (Chairman of the ECB), Ijaz Butt (Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board), Yorkshire old boy Younus Khan and Stewart Regan briefed the press on the importance of the series next summer.
Giles Clarke speaking at the launch of the Pakistan v
Australia Test at Headingley Carnegie in 2010
It is the first time that neutral Tests will be played in England and Giles Clarke believes the series will be a “staggering success.” Clarke continued: “It is very important that this tour is a successful tour, that it is well supported by the Pakistani community, so that Pakistan, who are the home team, feel they have strong popular support…The support of the Anglo-Pakistani community in this area is absolutely crucial. We were greatly encouraged to stand up and support Pakistan at this time.”
And Younus Khan was understandably keen to point out the sadness the Pakistan side feel about not being able to play their home matches in Pakistan. He said: “It’s very difficult that we can’t play in our own country and very bad that we can’t play in front of our own countrymen and own people. I became a cricketer because I went to games and watched Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis so I think it is very hard for us in Pakistan at the moment. Thanks to the ECB and Headingley Carnegie. Again I’m back here and looking forward to playing against Australia here next summer. It is like coming back home here at Headingley Carnegie today because I have great memories and I’m happy here at the moment and insullah against Australia the ground will be packed.”
Yorkshire Chairman, Colin Graves, added: “Hosting this match could be worth a substantial amount of money to us. We were really determined to get this match here and we worked with the ECB to achieve that and we’re hoping for a full house and if we can make a bit of money as well then that will be great. Over the last five years we’ve put in a lot of effort to forge links with the Asian communities and that was another reason why we wanted to stage this game. You see the British Asian players that are coming through now at the Club and it is superb from our point of view.”
Giles Clarke, Ijaz Butt, Younus Khan and Stewart Regan address the assembled media