India-Pakistan must play to defeat terrorism: Yousuf

Mohammad Yousuf has urged the cricket authorities of India and Pakistan to do everything to save the game from becoming a casualty of terrorism.

updated: November 30, 2008 17:47 IST
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Senior Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who has aligned with 'rebel' ICL, has urged the cricket authorities of India and Pakistan to do everything to save the game from becoming a casualty in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Yousuf said cricket between the two nations would be the best answer to terrorism and urged the BCCI to send its team for next year's tour to Pakistan.

Yousuf along with many fellow players returned here from India following the cancellation of ICL World Series due to the worst attack the financial capital of India had witnessed.

Yousuf said that the Mumbai attack had definitely hurt cricket in the sub-continent and it was a 'horrifying' human tragedy.

"But the fact is that if cricket activities are suspended in both countries it would only encourage these terrorists to increase their attacks," the prolific batsman opined.

Yousuf said he would like to see the Indian board send its team to Pakistan on schedule for the Test tour as sport has always brought people of the two countries together.

"Cricket must be played in both countries because it is one sport which can help defeat terrorism and bind the people of the two countries," he added.

Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan said it was unfortunate that there was an escalation in tension between Pakistan and India after the Mumbai attack.

"I think cricket will have to play its role in reducing these tensions. India must send its team to Pakistan so that things can return to normal as soon as possible," he said.

Moin said cancelling cricket series either in India or Pakistan would serve no purpose as both boards and governments needed to combine to combat terrorism.

"These terrorists have to be given a message that they can't discourage or disrupt relations between the two countires. Cricket has always played a big role in normalising ties and that time has come again," he said.

Opener Imran Nazir said all the players were shocked at what happened in Mumbai and were deeply disappointed they had to return home in such circumstances.

Rana Naved, Mohammad Sami, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Khalid were among the other ICL players who returned home from India.