Younis calls for joint front to save cricket in South Asia

April 2nd, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, April 2 (IANS) Pakistan captain Younis Khan Thursday asked the South Asian Test-playing nations including India to form a united front to shield cricket from terrorism.

Younis told reporters that the security issue is now a common problem for cricket in Pakistan.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to sit down together to decide a joint strategy to tackle this menace.

“Security is not Pakistan’s headache alone,” said Younis, one of the most prolific batsmen in international cricket.

“I believe that India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh face similar problems and I think its time that all of us get united to tackle it,” he said.

Terrorism has grown in South Asia in recent years and Pakistan is the worst-hit country. Top teams have refused to visit the country in recent years after which the International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to switch the eight-nation ICC Champions Trophy from Pakistan to

South Africa.

Last month’s terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore has sealed Pakistan’s status as an unsafe country for international teams.

Cricket has also suffered in India, which was forced to switch its lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League - to South Africa last month.

Bangladesh was forced to call off its home series against Pakistan last month following a mutiny within its armed forces.

The four South Asian nations are supposed to co-host the 2011 World Cup but the escalating violence in the region has raised a question mark whether it would be safe to have the quadrennial spectacle in the region.

Younis is confident that the World Cup will be played in the sub continent, but has warned that only a joint strategy will ensure that the event will stay in South Asia.

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