India can save cricket in sub-continent: Pak cricketers

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Several Pakistan cricketers urged the neighbours to save the game from getting affected in the sub-continent including Pakistan.

Updated: November 30, 2008 17:08 IST
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Several Pakistan cricketers have sympathised with India for having to fight one of the worst terror attacks in Mumbai but at the same urged the neighbours to save the game from getting affected in the sub-continent including Pakistan.

Cricket has suffered severely in the sub-continent due to continuing terror strikes in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

Several high profile cricket events have been cancelled in Pakistan and now England team have returned from India to their country leaving the one-day series mid-way due to Mumbai tragedy.

Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said cricket in Pakistan had been suffering a lot in the last few years because of security issues and India could face similar problems.

"But India definitely has more clout and it is a big commercial market so they can set the right tone despite these terrorist attacks. India needs to bail out Pakistan from its current situation by touring next year," he said.

Another former captain Javed Miandad, who is now director-general of the PCB, said the attacks in Mumbai were terrifying and the loss of human lives was a big tragedy.

"The loss of innocent lives anywhere in the world is always a big tragedy. But I think after the Mumbai incident it is obvious that terrorist attacks are not only confined to Pakistan.

"Terrorism is a global problem and we now need to decide how to ensure cricket activities are not affected completely by it in the region," he said.

Meanwhile, former skipper Rashid Latif criticised BCCI Vice President Lalit Modi for claiming that the security situation in India was not as bad as in Pakistan .

"I think after what happened in Mumbai. It is best Modi realises that this entire region and world is facing problems with extremist elements. He needs to be realistic and work jointly with Pakistan to ensure cricket activities continue in this region," Latif said.

India are due to tour Pakistan from January 4 to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match but its cricket chiefs have admitted that after the Mumbai attacks the tour could be derailed unless the governments decide to have the tour at all costs.

PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt on Saturday also warned off a split in world cricket if foreign teams refused to play in Asia because of security issues.

Pakistan's Test opener Imran Farhat felt if India could convince teams to tour them after the Mumbai tragedy, Pakistan would also find it easier to get teams to play their series.

Australia is the second major team scheduled to tour Pakistan from April 11 next year to play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game.

Test spinner Iqbal Qasim said terrorism was hurting many sports activities around the globe and the Mumbai attacks had clearly put Indian cricket in a difficult situation.

"But I think they have the influence and money to resume cricket activities quickly and also get England to play Tests. I just hope they now also reach out and help Pakistan by going ahead with their tour next year," he said.

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