Sammy feels for cricket-starved Pakistan fans

Published February 8, 2016
Pakistan's Sohail Khan shakes hand with Darren Sammy of West Indies. — AP/File
Pakistan's Sohail Khan shakes hand with Darren Sammy of West Indies. — AP/File

DUBAI: West Indies Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy on Monday said he felt sad for Pakistan cricket fans who are deprived of watching international stars on home grounds due to security fears in the country.

Pakistan have been facing international cricket hiatus since March 2009 terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus — which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players — led to suspension of all international matches.

That hiatus was briefly broken when Zimbabwe played a short limited over series in Pakistan in May-June last year but that does not guarantee series with bigger teams like India, Australia and England.

West Indies have not played a series with Pakistan since their 2006 tour to that country.

West Indies are due to play two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s in September-October this year but that too is likely to be played on neutral venues in United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan have been playing their home matches since 2009.

Sammy said it was up to the West Indies Cricket Board to decide where the series will be played but he certainly feels sad for Pakistan fans.

“Well, to be honest, these decisions are never ours it's the government and the cricket body to decide but what I could tell you is that the fans of Pakistan cricket have been missing some good international cricket.

“We as cricketers get to play in front of our home fans and that is something Pakistan have not had an opportunity to do, to play in front of their own people for a while,” said Sammy who is playing Pakistan Super League here.

“It's sad but hopefully things could get resolved and every territory could get a chance of playing cricket before their own crowds,” said Sammy who is playing alongside Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi for Peshawar franchise.

Asked whether any Pakistan player has invited him to their country, Sammy said: “We don't really talk about it, they have been on the road for a long time with Dubai being home base for them.

“I think every cricketer wants to play at home but its not our decision, it's the administration that decides that so I don't know.”

Sammy said he was enjoying the company of Pakistan cricketers.

“I just enjoy cricket on the whole, to share the dressing room with Afridi, (Wahab) Riaz and (Kamran) Akmal its a pleasure and playing is an honour.,”

Five teams are competing in the Twenty20 league which will end on February 23.

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