Islamabad:Former Pakistan Test captain and coach Javed Miandad hopes England's decision to resume its tour of India will help foreign teams have confidence in also playing in his country.
"I welcome the England team's return to India despite the deadly attacks in Mumbai," Miandad, who is now Pakistan Cricket Board director general, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "It's a lesson of peace and a defeat for terrorists."
The England squad returned to India on Monday - 10 days after flying home midway through its limited-overs series in the wake of the Mumbai attacks - amid tight security to play two test matches
"I sincerely hope that foreign teams will also start playing cricket in Pakistan, and it starts with the Indian cricket team's tour to Pakistan next month," Miandad said.
Miandad, 51, is regarded as one of Pakistan's greatest batsmen, scoring 8,832 runs from 124 tests with an average of 52.57 and 7,381 limited-overs runs from 233 matches in a career that spanned almost 20 years from 1976.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has sought its government's clearance to tour Pakistan for three-tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international between Jan. 4 and Feb. 19, but media speculation that the tour will not go ahead has intensified.
Pakistan chief selector Abdul Qadir Qadir said India's tour of Pakistan was also an opportunity to ease tensions between the two nations.
"Cricket is one way of maintaining good relations with India," Qadir said in comments published on the England Cricket Board's Web site. "It is very important that we at least continue playing regularly against India and both the countries don't break cricket ties.
"If India plays Pakistan it would go a long way to help ease tensions between the countries."
Pakistan is the only one of the nine active test-playing nations which will end 2008 without playing a test match.
It was scheduled to play three tests in March, but Australia postponed its tour due to security concerns.
The limited-overs Champions Trophy - scheduled for September in Pakistan - was also deferred for a year after five participating teams expressed their security reservations.