Officials of the visiting Malaysian cricket team termed Pakistan a safe country for holding international cricket events and said they will be visiting Pakistan again in April on a preparatory tour.
“Pakistan is an ideal country to hold top cricket events. As far as security is concerned, it was perfectly fine. We enjoyed playing cricket here,” said Shankar Retinam, manager of the visiting team at the end of their 10-day tour to Lahore.
The Malaysian team, which was defeated 3-0 in the one-day matches by the NCA Youth XI gave a scare to the home team by winning the opening T-20 match. NCA XI hit back and won the following T-20 to level the series 1-1.
Retinam said Pakistan has been deprived of international cricket in the last many years and called for its revival there.
“Things are quite good for competitive international cricket and our tour ended [without any security concerns],” he said.
The Malaysian team manager said Pakistan has a rich cricket history, which is evident from its achievements at the international level.
“It is unfortunate that no international cricket has been played in Pakistan [lately],” Retinam said, adding the setback has hampered for the sport to thrive.
No international cricket in a country means the upcoming talent will have lesser opportunities to learn from the best in the field, he said.
Coach Bilal Asad, a former first-class Pakistani player, echoed the views of the team’s manager and said there is no security issue in Pakistan as far as playing international cricket is concerned.
There is a perception that exaggerates the security concerns in Pakistan, “which is not correct,” Asad said.
He said the Malaysian cricket team was faced with the same “propaganda” before they left for the tour.
“But we finalised our tour to Pakistan (regardless),” the coach said, adding it was in the best interests of his team.
Both the team officials thanked Pakistan Cricket Board for hosting the Malaysian team and the hospitality extended to it during the tour.