Pakistan present and past captains hails ICC's decision

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Lahore, Jul 25: After the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to keep this September's Champions Trophy in Pakistan, the past and present captains has hailed the world governing body's decision, saying it would help develop cricket in the South Asian country.

Skipper Shoaib Malik praised Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for its efforts to retain the hosting rights.''Our stance from the first day was that our country is safe for playing cricket and I give full credit to the PCB for fighting their case with conviction,'' Malik said. ''I call upon all the leading players to come to Pakistan, play here and enjoy our hospitality. We will look after every player,'' he added. Former captain Wasim Akram said Pakistan will benefit from the decision.

''It is a positive decision which should be viewed in the larger interest of the game. ICC must be appreciated for taking a decision which will help Pakistan cricket in every way, it was now the responsibility of the hosts to make the best arrangements," Wasim said..

Another former captain, Javed Miandad, said the decision was ''diplomatic''. ''Although it's a great news, I think it's a diplomatic decision. It's too early to say whether every top team and every top player will come and it would be a great challenge for the ICC to make sure participation of top players,'' said Miandad.

''I think PCB had not lobbied properly before and that's why such concerns were raised. Now it's the double responsibility for the PCB and the ICC to ensure the tournament goes ahead safely,'' he added.

UNI

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