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Help PCB to resume its international cricket, Malik to ICC

Lahore, Sep 10 (UNI) Lamenting the present condition of the Pakistan cricket with no international tournament taking place in the strife-torn nation, skipper Shoaib Malik urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to help the game come out of the crisis.

''Pak cricket is going through a dark era and it is a very depressing situation that no international cricket activity is taking place in Pakistan, specially the Test cricket, and the ICC must look into it,'' Malik told APP yesterday.

It was in last November that Pakistan played a two-Test series against South Africa and lost it 0-1 besides losing the five One-day series 3-2.

The right-handed batsman said the ICC can persuade its member countries to find a space for special cricket series and help Pakistan resume its international cricket.

''I know it is not easy to arrange such series on a short notice but ICC being the parent body of cricket can do it as it is time to help out Pakistan cricket,'' he maintained.

Since November last year, Pakistan did not play any Test cricket.

It played One-day series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh followed by Asia Cup this June.

''It is a long gap which is quite alarming both for our team and players as we have slipped down in the Test ranking and our players are suffering because they did not have the chance to play Test cricket,'' Malik said, while expressing disappointment over the postponement of the Champions Trophy, which left lesser chance of having an away series in Pakistan this month in the prevailing circumstances.

''Only ICC can help us out in this situation and I think it should put its weight behind any move for an away series for One-day or Test series,'' he said.

The 26-year-old captain said though the PCB tried its best to convince the top teams to visit Pakistan, but the Board was not able to assuage the players' security concerns, who finally pulled out from the event.

Malik said despite these adverse situation, Pakistan players are not disappointed and they are engaged in daily match practice and training to keep themselves in shape and fitness.

''Even I am playing Twenty-20 cricket every day in my native town to remain in practice and my utmost desire is to maintain a higher level of fitness and I have urged the players to follow the same,'' he said.

''I firmly believe this situation will not continue for a long time and we will soon be having an opening to resume Test and One-day cricket and I look forward to a better day for Pakistan cricket,'' he averred.


Story first published: Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 12:34 [IST]
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