[QODLink]
Cricket

Pakistan team losing ground on rivals

Test team increasingly disadvantaged because they are unable to host games, according to Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2013 14:47
Pakistan have not hosted an international Test series since the 2009 Lahore attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team [EPA]

Pakistan are losing ground on Test rivals because they cannot host international teams owing to security concerns and accordingly play fewer Test matches, captain Misbah-ul-Haq Misbah-ul-Haq said on Monday.

As his team prepared to take on the world's top-ranked Test team South Africa in the three-Test series starting in Johannesburg on February 1, Misbah said Pakistan were at a disadvantage because of the "limitations".

"As a team it is very difficult when you not playing a format on a regular basis. You really have to work hard. But we have to adjust, you could say it is a limitation for us but we are professionals, we have to do well," he told a news conference.

"We don't have home series and when you aren't playing at home then you miss a lot of cricket and you play only about five or six Tests a year when other teams are playing 15 or 16 Tests a year. It really does affect your team."

Lahore legacy

Pakistan have not hosted a Test-playing team since armed militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding six Sri Lankan players.

Their 'home' matches since then have been held at neutral venues, mostly in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, while Pakistan have not played a Test series anywhere since July last year.

Misbah said that the success of the two-match series between a World XI and a Pakistani All Star team in October last year showed that Pakistan could safely host international matches.

"Pakistan is such a big cricketing nation and the world has to think about bringing international cricket back (to Pakistan).

"The T20 tournament in Pakistan saw full stadiums for every match. There were no (security) concerns. The people should have international cricket," he said.

Misbah's words were echoed by Pakistan team manager Naveed Akram Cheema who said that the situation in Pakistan was a lot safer than outsiders perceived.

"Our people in Pakistan are being deprived of international cricket. There is a difference between perception and reality.

People don't come (to Pakistan) on the pretext of security concerns. But I can tell you that it is as safe as any country in the world," he said.

Bangladesh were due to tour Pakistan this month but it was postponed for security reasons.

413

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.