ICC should intervene in scheduling: Malik

Shoaib Malik urged the ICC to intervene and ask its member countries to play home and way series against his side.

updated: September 15, 2008 14:28 IST
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Karachi:Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik on Wednesday urged the ICC to intervene and ask its member countries to play home and way series against his side, so as to stop it from becoming an isolated cricket nation.

"If teams don't tour Pakistan and if we don't get away series then the sport will suffer in Pakistan and people will lose interest in it," Malik said here.

"I just think the ICC cannot allow this situation to get out of hand. Being the governing body of the sport it needs to use its influence on member countries to compensate for the postponed events this year," he added.

Malik, Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir left this morning from Karachi for South Africa to take part in the shooting of an Indian film, "Victory", in which other leading cricketers of the world have also featured in bits and pieces.

Malik told reporters that he was disappointed and depressed at the lack of international exposure for Pakistan.

"It is very frustrating for the players the way two important events have been postponed this year. It is so depressing that despite being a major cricket playing nation we will not be able to play a Test match this year," he said.

Australia postponed its Test tour in March and then the eight-nation Champions Trophy was also deferred by the ICC last month because of security concerns by South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand.

To make matters worse Pakistan's effort to organise an alternate series to replace the postponed Champions Trophy have also not met with success.

South Africa turned down a proposal to host Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a tri-series this month, while a planned one-day series in Sri Lanka has also run into problems as the host country's demand was not accepted by the broadcaster who had shown interest in telecasting the five matches.

Pakistan played its last Test against India in December and their next series is not scheduled until January when India tours Pakistan.

Malik noted that some teams had made it a habit to raise the security issue before every tour.

"Some have genuine concerns but it has become a routine now although in the last many years no touring team has faced any problems in Pakistan from anyone," he noted.

"How can teams not accept assurances even from our government and board," he added.

Malik said for cricket to thrive in Pakistan it was important for teams to tour Pakistan.

Akmal also agreed with his captain and said the year had been a frustrating one for Pakistan cricketers.

"Obviously we have lost out in the world rankings and even otherwise. We are professional cricketers and we want to perform and play throughout the year," he stated.

Pakistan's next international appearance in a Twenty20 four-nation tournament in Toronto from October 10 is also in uncertainty with a PCB official confirming that West Indies had not signed the MOU with the organisers as yet.