Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has raised concerns over the deteriorating condition of cricket in the country, fearing that the international boycott is hurting the development of the sport among youngsters. The South Asian nation has not hosted a full-fledged international series since the terror attack on the touring Sri Lankan side in 2009.
Barring Zimbabwe, who visited the country for a brief tour in 2015, Pakistan have not witnessed other national teams land on their shores, with other cricket boards refusing to let their teams play in the country. Over the past years, Misbah feels that youngsters are slowly losing interest in cricket as they do not get to watch their heroes and top players in person.
"The interest of the youth is really losing out to other sports. It's one area where you can say we are really unlucky and we want international cricket back in Pakistan, just to help our youngsters and just to help cricket in Pakistan," Misbah said, ahead of the third Test against England.
"If you are not watching the heroes and the top stars in the world in the grounds and you are not meeting them, that could be a big attraction for them to play cricket. Without that, it's really difficult for the Pakistan Cricket Board and it can hurt them financially also," the Test skipper added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has tried to bring back the sport to the country, with efforts being made to host certain parts of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at home. The tournament which is currently hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to security reasons is the flagship Twenty20 league of the country.
Zimbabwe toured the country for a limited-overs trip last year and were the first country to do so in six years. While PCB is keen on getting more nations on tour, it said has reassured cricket boards that the security situation has "calmed down over the years".