Sarfraz Ahmed also felt that Champions Trophy win could prove a catalyst for international cricket    Getty Images
Sarfraz Ahmed also felt that Champions Trophy win could prove a catalyst for international cricket Getty Images

Karachi: Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell and legendary West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards has called for return of international cricket in Pakistan, saying that the crowd and players are starved of watching the game in their own country. No Test side has toured Pakistan since the March 2009 militants attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, killing six Pakistani policemen and injuring some of the visiting players. However, low-ranked sides namely Afghanistan and Zimbabwe had toured the country for a limited-over series. Throwing light on the same, Chappell said that no international cricket at all in Pakistan prevent in the progress of the country’s cricket. ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final: Victory against India could serve as catalyst to bring international cricket home, reckons Sarfraz Ahmed

The former Australian captain further called on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to start taking small steps towards the revival of international cricket in the country.”Don’t try for five Tests or something like that, just some small steps are needed to get the world comfortable of playing in Pakistan and then you can start taking bigger steps,” the Dawn quoted Chappell as saying. Echoing similar views, Richards, who was also head coach for Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators, said that the reception they got to see when they came to Lahore for the finals clearly depicted how much the crowds are starved for international cricket.

“We came here for the PSL final [staged in Lahore in March this year] and the reception we got to see from the people shows how much they are starved for international cricket.We have to find ways of restoring international cricket in Pakistan in a big way. When you look at the world in terms of security to be fair we are not safe anywhere,” Richards added. It should be noted that Richards and Chappell were both part of the state television’s cricket panel for the recently-concluded Champions Trophy, which Pakistan went on to win by huge 180 runs by beating arch-rivals India at the Oval on June 18.