JOHANNESBURG - Pakistan should be allowed to stage international cricket again, captain Misbah-ul-Haq said yesterday as his team prepared to face top-ranked South Africa in a three-Test series.
No Test series has been staged in Pakistan since armed militants attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team in Lahore four years ago, killing eight locals and wounding six visiting players.
"Pakistan is such a big cricketing nation and the world has to think about bringing international cricket back to the country," the 38-year-old right-hand batsman said.
"A Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan saw full stadiums for every game and there were no security concerns. The people should have international cricket," he told a media conference.
Team manager Naveed Akram Cheema backed the views of Misbah, stressing that the security situation in the country was much safer than the outside world realised.
"There is a difference between perception and reality. Other teams do not come to Pakistan on the pretext of security concerns, but it is as safe as any other country in the world," he said.
Misbah said having to play 'home' Tests abroad — often in the United Arab Emirates cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi — was affecting the competitiveness of the team.