Afridi urges world to end Pakistan isolation
All-rounder Shahid Afridi has made an emotional appeal to the cricketing world to end Pakistan's four-year isolation over terror attacks.
No international cricket has been played in Pakistan, which suffers near daily Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence, since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven visiting players.
Former captain Afridi said Pakistan has been sidelined and had “suffered because of being the frontline state in the war” against Islamist militants.
“We are desperately trying to revive international cricket in our country and need co-operation but it’s not coming,” he told AFP on Thursday. For four years, Pakistan has been forced to play its home series at neutral venues in England and the United Arab Emirates.
“Pakistan cricket is suffering because of non-cooperation and it is high time that other nations contribute to our efforts. Don’t leave us alone,” said Afridi.
Afridi said Pakistan wants a special bond with Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. “Pakistan has helped Bangladesh, they shouldn’t forget that,” said Afridi, referring to getting Bangladesh Test status in 2000.
“We toured India last month which helped them earn a huge amount and now it’s India’s time to help us — all the more so because cricket has been the biggest tool in bringing both nations closer,” said Afridi.