Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf has urged the PCB to seek the help of leading ex-players in its bid to revive international cricket in the country.
Yousuf, who is training at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore with the national coach Dav Whatmore, said he was extremely disappointed by the postponement of the Bangladesh team's tour to Pakistan. "It is very disappointing because it has been three years since any international team came to Pakistan," he said. "Our people have been starved of watching international players in action on their own grounds. But the PCB should not give up hope and continue its efforts to invite teams to Pakistan."
He said he was willing to offer his services to the PCB in any capacity to help them in convincing teams to play in Pakistan. "I personally feel that the board must enlist the services of some leading former players and use them as cricket ambassadors to promote a soft image of Pakistan abroad," he said.
Yousuf, who last played for Pakistan in 2010, said former players tend to have their own personal connections and friendships and can utilise these to help the PCB in its endeavours. "We all want to see international teams playing again in Pakistan. But after what happened in 2009, it is a reality that this will take some doing. We all need to work together to produce results," Yousuf said.
Whatmore, meanwhile, told the media that he was also personally disappointed by Bangladesh's decision to postpone the tour. "I was looking forward to the series and wanted to see the teams play in Pakistan. But we just need to now focus and prepare for our coming assignments," Whatmore said.
He said he personally had never made security an issue with the PCB and was enjoying his stay in Pakistan. "I have decided against going on vacations and instead will remain in Lahore to prepare the players for the coming tour to Sri Lanka in late May," Whatmore said.
Former Pakistan Test captain Aamir Sohail also felt that PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf needed to form a new team to work towards convincing teams to play in Pakistan. "The Bangladesh pull-out is really disappointing and sad for Pakistan cricket. But the board must now form a new team which can convince teams to play in the country," he said. Sohail also said if the board required him, he would be willing to use his contacts in this direction for them.