Pakistan news March 15, 2009

Ashraf urges India to support Pakistan cricket

Cricinfo staff

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Akmal also calls for India's backing
  • Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, has also urged India to support Pakistan cricket "during its worst phase". "Indian cricketers like [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni, Yuvraj [Singh] and Irfan Pathan enjoy huge fan following in Pakistan. It will be a great help if India reconsiders it's decision not to tour Pakistan. It will certainly help bring Pakistan cricket back on track."
  • He also said the PCB's financial losses due to the lack of international games in Pakistan could have far-reaching consequences. "Financial losses will affect domestic structure in Pakistan cricket and we won't get good cricketers. So it will have a long-term impact."
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With Pakistan cricket facing a bleak future after the Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan team bus earlier this month, Nasim Ashraf, the former PCB chairman, has called on India and other Asian countries to help the troubled country revive its chances of hosting international cricket. Ashraf also said similar terrorist strikes can hit cricket in other Asian countries as well.

"The attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore is clearly a part of a bigger conspiracy by elements to isolate Pakistan as a sporting nation," Ashraf told PTI. "There is no guarantee that they will not target other Asian countries as well.

"If such elements succeed in their aim of turning Pakistan into a no-go country for foreign teams in terms of security, there is no guarantee they will not try to do the same with India as well and try to scare teams away from playing in India."

He also wanted an impartial inquiry into the Lahore strike. "If security mistakes were made we must admit them and ensure they don't happen again." Chris Broad, the ICC's match referee for the Lahore Test, had said that security forces had left the match officials as 'sitting ducks' during the incident.

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