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'Time to push for return of international cricket in Pakistan'

October 12, 2012 11:32 IST

Starved of international cricket at home, Pakistan's Test and One-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq said it is unfair to deprive his team of a chance to compete in front of its own crowd due to the lingering security concerns of international sides.

"We are a big Test-playing country and it is not fair for us as well as for the other Test-playing countries and world cricket that we are not getting to stage international cricket," said Misbah.

Misbah-ul-Haq"It is the responsibility of the cricket boards and their respective governments to come out with policies and ensure how teams can visit Pakistan in the future," he told the Gulf News newspaper.

No Test-playing nation has visited Pakistan since March 2009 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the visiting players.

Since then, Pakistan has been forced to host its home series on neutral venues such as Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

The 38-year-old Misbah said Pakistan's last-four finish at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka showed that the team was doing well in difficult conditions and rising to the challenge despite not playing international cricket in front of home fans.

"It is a big dilemma and it is time the cricketing world comes together to push for international cricket in Pakistan," he added.

Misbah also commended the idea of hosting the Pakistan Premier League and said it is a very important step which would aid the development of the game.

"The PPL will help in developing the temperament and skills of players. It will also throw up some new talent. The exposure the players will get will help them acquire professionalism. It is very important for Pakistan to go for it," Misbah said.

Misbah's plea comes a few days after Australian umpire Simon Taufel called for international cricket to return to Pakistan.

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