Ever since cricket has started returning to Pakistan, a country which remained sidelined for over a decade since the deadly terror attack on a visiting national team from Sri Lanka, the international cricketing fraternity has started seeing the nation through a new prism of hope.
Pakistan is currently hosting its annual Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 and it is for the first time that the tournament is being held entirely on its soil. Recently, two international teams — Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — also paid visits to Pakistan for full-fledged tours.
While international cricketers playing in Pakistan have welcomed the improvement in its security situations, England all-rounder Moeen Ali has said that judging the two-time World Cup hosts’ security reputation is a bit unfair since no place on the planet is completely safe given the rising crime rates.
A year ago, Bangladesh had to call off their tour of New Zealand, one of the most peaceful countries in the world, following a couple of terror attacks in mosques in Christchurch that left 51 people dead. A month later, Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, another cricket-playing nation, left over 250 dead.
The 32-year-old Moeen, a player of Pakistani descent, is currently in Pakistan to play for Multan Sultans in the PSL and speaking exclusively to The Cricketer, he said: “I think it (Pakistan’s security reputation) is a little bit unfair because you’re not safe anywhere. It can be wrong place, wrong time. Even in England now, the crime rate’s massive.
I just feel the perception you have from the outside is it’s not safe to go. My counter-argument is it’s not safe anywhere, really. Yes, there are some places you might feel a bit safer but the security has been really impressive. We had the same thing in Bangladesh a few years ago when some guys didn’t go. It was brilliant.”
One of Moeen Ali’s reason to play PSL is to see cricket coming back to Pakistan
Moeen, a member of England’s World Cup-winning squad last year, said one of the main reasons behind his participation in the PSL is to see the return of the game to the Asian powerhouse.
“A part of coming here is to try to get cricket in Pakistan again. It’s also to experience the atmospheres and a bit of franchise cricket, but it’s mainly to get Pakistan playing cricket again, getting their fans to experience good players coming, and being part of a franchise league that’s talked about a lot around the circuit. Being of Pakistani heritage, it definitely means a lot to come out and experience it. My dad was very keen for me to come out. It’s been amazing,” he added.
The reputed batting all-rounder though is not having any memorable PSL on the 22 yards as in seven games, he has managed just one fifty and took three wickets. The Sultans though are doing well as they are topping the points table at the moment with five wins and one loss from eight outings while two matches remained inconclusive.
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