New Delhi, Jan 6: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan does not see international cricket returning to his country anytime soon.
Khan feels the sport is suffering a lot since Pakistan became a no-go zone for international teams following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Since the attack, Pakistan not only lost the right to co-host the 2011 World Cup but also have to play their home matches in the United Arab Emirates.
“No international cricket in Pakistan is hurting the sport badly but the second best thing is to play outside. I don’t see cricket resuming anytime soon because of terrorism,” Khan told IANS here Monday on the sidelines of the India launch of his book ‘Cricket Cauldron’.
“The government is trying to get cricket back into Pakistan. Fans are frustrated as they are not being able to watch high quality action. It affects the domestic cricketers by a great deal. The biggest issue is that no money is coming into the game because of the embargo,” added Khan, who was born in Bhopal in 1934.
A former diplomat, Khan, however, seemed pleased with the performance of the Pakistan cricket team which recently beat South Africa in their own backyard in a One-Day International (ODI) series.
“Despite all of this, the team is doing okay. We won an ODI series in South Africa where India lost. We are hoping to play a series against India which will definitely help the sport,” added the former Pakistani diplomat.
The 79-year-old former administrator feels that fresh PCB elections should be held as soon as possible, as ordered by the Islamabad High Court last year.
“We need to hold fresh PCB elections which is acceptable to all including the International Cricket Council (ICC). We are determined to hold elections as soon as possible. Transparent and fair elections needs to be held so that PCB can get back to full control,” said Khan, who is the first cousin of former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.