Karachi:Former players on Friday termed 2009 as the worst year for Pakistan cricket and said the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March badly damaged the image of the country in the world cricketing fraternity.
Seven Sri Lankan players were wounded in the attack that took place when the Sri Lankans were playing a Test in Lahore.
Since the attack, no international team has agreed to tour Pakistan and the International Cricket Council also moved away the matches of the 2011 World Cup from Pakistan.
The only bright spot for Pakistan cricket in the year was the World Twenty20 triumph in England in June under the captaincy of Younus Khan.
"It was definitely one of the worst years for Pakistan cricket. If only more had done to prevent that attack," former captain Wasim Akram said.
He said the attack blew away Pakistan cricket and that incident was a shame considering the passionate following cricket evoked in the country.
"Our cricket structure has been badly damaged and with no international cricket being played in the country obviously it is going to affect the growth of our players," he said.
After the attack, even Zimbabwe refused to send a Under-19 team to Pakistan over security fears.
Another former captain Rameez Raja said he was concerned how long the board could sustain itself and keep on organising matches at neutral venues.
"Apart from the cricket we have also suffered financial losses and that is something the board and ICC need to look into. The international cricket community needs to find ways to providing financial assistance to our cricket set up," Rameez said.
Former batsman Aamer Sohail said he was still appalled at the way the whole issue of the attack on the Sri Lankan team was handled.
"I don't think anyone in the board realised at first how much damage it had done to our cricket. But now they are waking up to reality and it might too late," he said.
Former stumper Moin Khan said that the ICC and its members needed to support Pakistan cricket in these tough times.
"Pakistan deserves more support. I don't think the ICC sending a world eleven for a couple of matches soon would be a bad idea because we need some international matches in our country," he said.
"Let us hope the new year brings more positive results and news for Pakistan cricket because we remain an important part of the international cricket community," Moin added.