Lahore: Pakistan's cricket coach Dav Whatmore expressed disappointment at Bangladesh postponing the much-anticipated tour and said he himself had no security fears staying in the country.
Pakistan's hopes of hosting its first international cricket match in three years were thrown into jeopardy last week after the High Court in Bangladesh suspended the national team's tour to the strife-torn nation for four weeks due to security reasons.
"I just feel that people should not form opinions or take decisions about the security in Pakistan sitting thousands of miles away. There is a general perception about the security in Pakistan but I feel people must come and see for themselves the ground reality in the country," Whatmore told reporters at the PCB headquarters.
"For a nation with such a rich cricketing history, it is very difficult to keep the game going without having any international matches at home."
"I have no security issues about staying in Pakistan and working here. I was born in Sri Lanka and lived through the civil war there, and now staying in Lahore I have faced no security problems," he said.
The PCB has stepped into PR overdrive in a desperate attempt to dispel the notion that it was not safe to play cricket in Pakistan after the refusal of the BCB to send their team for a one-day match and a Twenty20 international here.
In March 2009 after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the Lankan players, no test playing nation has visited Pakistan and the ICC also shifted the 2011 World Cup matches from Pakistan due to security fears.
The former Australian Test player said like any other Pakistani cricket fan, he was also very disappointed at the postponement of the tour.
"It was very disappointing because we were in the process of selecting the team and then came the postponement and it was all finished. It was disappointing particularly for the players," he added.
Whatmore was also hopeful that Pakistan Premier League (PPL) will attract international players.
"Once it is known to the people of the world that the PCB is planning on Pakistan Premier League, I am sure there will be a lot of international cricketers who will be looking at that their schedules to see when they are available to come and enjoy playing in Pakistan for a couple of weeks," he said.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:55 IST