Malik wants Australia to tour Pakistan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik on Tuesday said he wants Australia to keep its commitment of touring his country next year.

Updated: September 19, 2008 17:56 IST
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Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik on Tuesday said he wants Australia to keep its commitment of touring his country next year after Ricky Ponting's team agreed to play in India despite Saturday's serial bomb blasts.

"Personally I feel it is good that the Australians have decided to carry on with their tour of India. Because we have been saying in Pakistan terrorism should not be allowed to affect sporting and cricketing activities," Malik told reporters in Lahore.

"I just feel that if Australia can tour India despite the bomb blasts there, they should also do the same with Pakistan where people are eager to watch them play as they have not toured Pakistan in 10 years," Malik said.

The Pakistan skipper said the cricket board and government had always assured state level security arrangements for the touring teams.

"The Australians must also believe in our security assurnances and arrangements and play in Pakistan," he added.

Malik had no doubt the Australia and India Test series would be an exciting and close one but refused to make any predictions.

"I can say for sure everyone will get to watch quality and competitive cricket. I can hope that Australia tour next year as they can expect a hard series from us also."

Malik also said that for the time being his players would be concentrating on playing the national twenty20 championship next month.

"It is going to be a good tournament and it will give everyone an opportunity to get a place in the team for the twenty20 internationals in Toronto," he said.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal also said that since all the top players were available in the country, the twenty20 domestic competition would be a tough and exciting event.

"I personally want to prove myself but overall it is a good way for the players to get into match mode as we have not played much cricket in last few months," said Kamran who was dropped for the Asia Cup but recalled for the Champions Trophy which was eventually postponed due to security concerns by some teams including Australia.

Akmal said for Pakistan next year's Test series against India would be a great way to begin the year which was a hectic one.

"Playing the Indians is always tough and this is the best possible way to start off the season and wait for the Australians if they come," he added.

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