‘War on terror’ to blame for cricketing woes, says

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International affairs are ‘hurting’ the country

FORMER world cup winning captain Imran Khan has blamed Pakistan’s allegiance with America on their ‘war on terror’ for the country’s lack of cricketing action.

The ex-cricketer-turned-politician said the ICC’s decision to take the Champions Trophy away from the country was systematic of the way the country’s international affairs had damaged the country.

“From economy to daily life to cricket, everything is hurt in Pakistan only because of our unnecessary involvement in war. Teams are refusing to come to Pakistan because of that war,” Khan told AFP.

“Cricket is suffering financially. The sooner Pakistan pulls out of the war on terror the better and it will quickly recover from all sorts of problems,” he added.

The ICC said it was “unfortunate” Pakistan lost out on the Champions Trophy, adding it was keen to form a task team to visit Pakistan and work with the PCB “to find ways to ensure that, wherever possible, international cricket is played in the country in the future”.

The news came as a huge blow to Pakistan who had hoped to use the tournament to dispel fears surrounding the country’s security situation.

Australia and the West Indies forced Pakistan to play in the neutral venues of Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates in 2002.

In the years that followed, New Zealand, Australia again and India all refused to tour Pakistan or cut short tours over security fears.

Khan accused the cricket world and the ICC of double standards when it came to Pakistan.

“Of course there are double standards when it comes to Pakistan. England only toured India because of their financial clout, while Pakistan is left isolated,” said Khan.

England returned to India to play two Tests last December after abandoning the last two one-days in a seven-match series following the Mumbai attacks.

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