Players disappointed on postponement of Champions Trophy: Shoaib Malik

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pakistan pondered another low-point for the country's cricketing fortunes on Friday, when the shelved Champions Trophy had been due to kick off.

Captain Shoaib Malik said the players were "very disappointed" at last month's setback when the high-profile International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament was postponed over security fears.

Attempts to reschedule the Trophy for October 2009 are clashing with other series, leaving the event in doubt.

With ongoing security problems placing a question mark over future tours here, Malik said Pakistan's reputation had been dealt a serious blow.

"As cricketers we are very disappointed,"
Malik told foreign news agency.
"I would rather say that disappointment is a very small word for the feeling we are going through and our cricket has badly suffered from the Trophy postponement."

The September 12-28 event for the top eight nations was put off after South Africa refused to tour and players from Australia, England and New Zealand also expressed reluctance to visit.

Malik said Pakistan needed to host the Trophy to prove itself as a safe venue for international cricket.

"The Pakistan government gave full security assurances and had the event took place with fans coming from abroad perceptions and the image of our country would have changed,"
he said.

"We badly needed to host the Champions Trophy because it would have paved the way for more international cricket in Pakistan. We are now sitting idle with no activity and it's something which no player wanted,"
Malik added.

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