‘India should help our cricket’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/india-should-help-our-cricket/

‘India should help our cricket’

Concerned about the future of cricket in Pakistan after the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team...

Concerned about the future of cricket in Pakistan after the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team,wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal said India can help save the game in his country by agreeing to play there. “Pakistan cricket is in its worst phase. Not a single foreign team is willing to play here. It has certainly affected our players’ motivation,apart from the financial losses,” he said from Karachi. Admitting that Pakistan is on the verge of being isolated in international cricket,Akmal urged India to lend a helping hand.

“Indian cricketers like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni,Yuvraj (Singh),Irfan Pathan enjoy a huge fan following in Pakistan. It will be a great help if India reconsider their decision not to tour Pakistan. It will certainly help bring Pakistan cricket back on track,” said the cricketer,who has played 40 Tests and 94 ODIs so far. “It is a great loss not only for our cricketers but cricket lovers as well. They haven’t been able to see their favourite players playing here.”

Affecting morale

Akmal said the reluctance of top teams like India,Australia and South Africa to visit Pakistan has affected the morale of the players and the situation has worsened after the Lahore attack. “If India,Australia and South Africa continue to avoid Pakistan,then cricket will not survive here. Domestic tournaments do not get spectators. Stadiums are empty during the ongoing domestic one-day tournament. The players do not have any motivation,” he said.

Akmal said playing at neutral venues was not the solution to Pakistan cricket’s woes. “PCB will get money from TV rights and title sponsorship,but that is not enough. Financial losses will affect the domestic structure in Pakistan cricket and we won’t get good cricketers. It will have a long-term impact,” said the 27-year-old player.