Musharraf blamed for Australia’s pullout of Pakistan tour

March 13th, 2008 - 9:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Karachi, March 13 (IANS) Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan has blamed President Pervez Musharraf for Australia’s move to put off its tour of Pakistan, saying the nation was paying the price for backing the US-led war on terror. “Musharraf blindly follows the US in the war against terror and we are paying the price. Because of that we are now at a stage when no one is ready to play cricket here,” Imran told the media Wednesday.

The world champions temporarily cancelled their tour Tuesday citing security fears after twin blasts rocked Lahore Tuesday.

Imran said he could understand Australia’s decision. The tour was to see two Tests and three One-day Internationals.

“People feel the Australians are unjustified in pulling out but Australia’s decision is understandable as everything that happens in Pakistan is magnified abroad,” said Imran.

“Australians don’t live here and they don’t know that bombings are not aimed at sportsmen. No one has ever targeted sportsmen in Pakistan,” he said.

Imran, a vocal critic of Musharraf, said that the postponement means a loss for Pakistan cricket both in terms of money and interest.

“This pullout by Australia will make Pakistan cricket poorer. Had they toured it would have created a lot of interest as everyone wants to see them play here.

“Pakistan will also lose revenue by not hosting a high-profile series and we have come to a position where we only play minnows like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.”

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