No one's ready to play in Pakistan - Imran Khan

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has blamed the country's president, General Pervez Musharraf, for Australia's decision to postpone their tour to Pakistan.

"Musharraf blindly follows the United States in the war against terror and we are paying the price,"

Imran told AFP.

"Because of that we are now at a stage when no one is ready to play cricket here."

Australia, who were scheduled to tour Pakistan this month for Tests and one-dayers, were unlikely to make the trip following former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination and continued violence in the country.

"People feel the Australians are unjustified in pulling out, but Australia's decision is understandable as everything that happens in Pakistan is magnified to larger proportions abroad,"

Imran said.

"Australians don't live here and they don't know that bombings are not aimed at sportsmen but terrorists' targets are specific. No one has ever targeted sportsmen in Pakistan."

Australia haven't visited Pakistan since 1998 and Ricky Ponting is the only member of that touring party who is currently playing.

"Had they [Australia] toured it would have created a lot of interest as everyone wants to see them play here. That is gone now for at least until the tour is rescheduled."

Imran said Pakistan had come to a point where they could only host weaker opposition like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

"Pakistan will also lose revenue by not hosting a high-profile series."

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?