Don't eliminate cricket from Pak, says Younis Khan

Published: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 13:46 [IST]
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Don't let cricket die, says Younis Khan

Lahore : Pakistan captain Younis Khan has appealed world cricket authorities to keep international cricket alive in his country despite this week's terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team.

"I appeal for all the bosses and the ICC (International Cricket Council) to not let cricket die here," Khan told a Cricinfo website Thursday.

"It would be very easy right now for the ICC and the bosses to say there will be no cricket in Pakistan, but the future will not be good if cricket is taken away from my country.

"It is up to the ICC and the bosses from around the world to make sure that cricket is not lost in Pakistan because of a couple of mad people. It is not the sportsmen's fault.

Prior to Sri Lanka's visit, Pakistan had long been a no-go zone for foreign cricket teams, with Australia, India and the West Indies refusing visits, and the Champions Trophy called off on security grounds.

"Sport helps to make good human beings," Khan said. "If the sport is not there, the children can do silly things.

"Nobody wants to see children going down a bad path and finding themselves involved with bombs and things like that."

Terrorist attack on Sri Lankan touring party killed six policemen and injured seven members.

"When I was a boy, I loved watching Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram playing against great teams from overseas. It is because of them — seeing them play — that I also played the game.

"But what if no one comes to Pakistan? How will the youngsters know about the game? What will they do?"

With home internationals unlikely for some time, Khan said Pakistan players will pursue their careers in lucrative Twenty20 leagues in India — ICL and IPL — and England's domestic game.

"If something is not done quickly, maybe everyone goes to the IPL, ICL or county cricket," Khan said.

"I hope that does not happen."

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