Pakistan cricket team no more a crowd-puller: Sohail

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Former captain Aamir Sohail said the Pakistan cricket team is no more a crowd-puller in world cricket and that is the reason why top international teams are not interested in playing Pakistan.

In an interview to a Pakistani TV channel here Sunday, Sohail said: “Pakistan cricket team has always been ranked amongst the top three or four teams in the world but they do not enjoy that status anymore.”

“We are not the crowd-pullers of world cricket anymore and the international teams know that,” he said.

Sohail said that cricket has become a commercial sport and all countries are looking to increase revenue through the fixtures.

“Other teams and boards probably know that they won’t be much affected even if they refuse to play Pakistan,” he pointed out.

“A major reason for the reluctance of foreign teams to come and play in Pakistan is because our boys are not competitive enough. It becomes difficult to turn-down a tour request when the host team includes top performers and can pull sponsors.”

We are languishing very low in the Test and ODI rankings which is a big cause of concern,” he regretted.

As per the official ICC ranking, Pakistan is currently ranked 6th in both Test and ODI ratings.

The foreign teams have declined to visit Pakistan repeatedly during the last couple of years because of security concerns. After the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium in March 2009, no foreign team has visited Pakistan.

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