LAHORE: Officials of the visiting Malaysian cricket team have termed Pakistan a safe country for holding international cricket events and said they would again be visiting Pakistan in April on a preparatory tour.
“Pakistan is an ideal country for staging top cricket events and as far as security is concerned it was perfectly alright and we enjoyed playing cricket here,” said manager of the visiting team, Shankar Retinam and coach, Bilal Asad while talking to APP on the eve of the departure of the team after a ten-day tour to Lahore.
The Malaysian team which was beaten 3-0 in the one-day matches by the NCA Youth XI gave a scare to the home team by winning the opening T20 match.
NCA XI hit back and won the following T20 to level the series 1-1.
Shankar said Pakistan has been deprived of international cricket in last many years and called for resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.
“Things are quite good for competitive international cricket and our tour ended in a smooth manner and we do not see any problem here as far as security is concerned,” he said.
The Malaysian team manager said Pakistan has a rich cricket history which is evident from its achievements at international level and it produced many big players of the game.
“It is unfortunate that international cricket is not being played in Pakistan which has damaged the cause of cricket in Pakistan and it is in the larger interest of Pakistan that international cricket should resume here as early as possible,” he said adding “if there will be no international cricket in the country, there will be less opportunities for the young players to learn and to compete with the top notch of the world cricket in their own backyard.”
He said it was an honour for his team to play at the famous Gaddafi Stadium and his team learnt a lot during the tour and got needed exposure and experience for its coming assignments in near future.
Coach Bilal Asad, a former first-class Pakistani player, endorsed the views of the manager and said there is no security issue in Pakistan to play cricket.
“Things are perfect here for staging and playing international cricket and there is mind set which talks about security issues here in Pakistan which is not correct,” he said adding “Before the start of the tour, we faced the similar propaganda on security concerns but we did not consider it and finalised our tour to Pakistan for learning and betterment of our team keeping an eye on its future commitments.”
Both the team officials expressed their gratitude to Pakistan Cricket Board for hosting the Malaysian team and the hospitality extended to it during the tour.—APP