Jayasuriya leads Asian team after Pakistani players withdraw from Toronto T20

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Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and his South African counterpart Mark Boucher sit inside the Toronto Blue Jays dugout on Friday May 11, 2012. (Pictures by Mahesh Abeyewardene)

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and his South African counterpart Mark Boucher sit inside the Toronto Blue Jays dugout on Friday May 11, 2012. (Pictures by Mahesh Abeyewardene)

Former Sri Lankan cricket all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya will lead an Asian team following the withdrawal of all Pakistani players from T20 cricket match at the Rogers Center in Toronto later today.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) refused to release the players which included Shahid Afridi who was the initial candidate for Asian skipper. Former West Indian great Brian Lara will lead the World team.

Organizers say they spent the last few days trying to convince the PCB to release the players for the match, and even requested government-level intervention through the Pakistan High Commission at the eleventh hour.

Meanwhile, Pakistani players are preparing for a bi-lateral series against Sri Lanka which starts on May 29.

World team captain Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and Canadian skipper Rizwan Cheema (right) during a press conference at the Rogers Center.

Asian team captain Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and Canadian skipper Rizwan Cheema (right) during a press conference at the Rogers Center.