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Time for international cricket to return to Pakistan: Misbah

October 11, 2012

Misbah said Pakistan had risen to the challenge despite facing many difficulties. -Photo by AP

KARACHI: Pakistan's One-Day International captain Misbah-ul-Haq has urged the cricketing world to help revive international cricket in Pakistan.

“It is the responsibility of the cricket boards and their respective governments to come out with policies and ensure how teams can visit Pakistan in the future,” Misbah said while talking to Gulf News.

International cricket in Pakistan has been suspended since an attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore by militants in 2009 which left seven players injured. Since then, Pakistan has been forced to host its 'home series' on neutral venues such as Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

“We are a big Test-playing country and it is not fair for us as well as for the other Test-playing countries and world cricket that we are not getting to stage international cricket,” said Misbah.

The 38-year old said that Pakistan's last four finish at the recently-concluded World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka showed that the team was doing well in difficult conditions and rising to the challenge despite not playing international cricket in front of the home fans.

“It is a big dilemma and it is time the cricketing world comes together to push for international cricket in Pakistan,” he added.

Misbah also commended the idea of hosting the Pakistan Premeir League and said that it was a very important step which would aid the development of the game.

“The PPL will help in developing the temperament and skills of players. It will also throw up some new talent. The exposure the players will get will help them acquire professionalism. It is very important for Pakistan to go for it,” Misbah said.

Misbah's plea comes a few days after Australian umpire Simon Taufel called for international cricket to return to Pakistan.

“We all would like cricket to be played in Pakistan sooner than later. It’s certainly a place I have fond memories of and of the people and cricket played there. I have officiated a lot in Pakistan,” Taufel said.