Smith feels for ‘home game’ deprived Pak fans

November 2nd, 2010 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai, Nov 2(ANI): South African skipper Graeme Smith has said that he feels for Pakistani cricket fans who have been deprived of watching action on their grounds because of security fears.

Leading cricket teams have refused to visit Pakistan following last year’s terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus, which has forced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hold ‘home games’ in England and the United Arab Emirates.

“Obviously, I feel for people in Pakistan who are fanatical about the game of cricket and it’s sad that they are not being able to watch their team and foreign teams play on their home grounds,” the News quoted Smith, as saying.

In spite of the continuous fears, South Africa had toured Pakistan in 2003 and 2007 - memories of which are still fresh in Smith’s mind.

“I have good memories of touring Pakistan. I remember that was the period when we had a good run of victories after winning Tests and one-day series in Pakistan,” Smith said.

The 29-year-old further believes that the Pakistani fans were being entertained with the current series being played in the UAE.

“Of course, they are not getting to see their players on their grounds. I guess this is the nature of the world, but with cricket played here they (Pakistani fans) have been provided with some entertainment,” Smith said.

“The facilities at Abu Dhabi Stadium were fantastic and although the ground was a bit far from the city centre, people came to support the teams which was a good thing,” he added.

In the last two years, Pakistan ‘home’ games have also been staged in New Zealand.

Pakistan, which was due to co-host the 2011 World Cup, was also stripped of its matches following the attack on the Sri Lankan team.

Pakistan was supposed to hold 14 matches, including one semi-final. Eight of Pakistan’s matches have been awarded to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh. (ANI)

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