Pak players unhappy with CT postponement

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Lahore, Sep 13 (UNI) Pakistan cricketers are disappointed with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the world body postponed the prestigious Champions Trophy to October next year.

''As cricketers, we are very disappointed,'' skipper Shoaib Malik said. ''I would rather say that disappointment is a very small word for the feeling we are going through and our cricket has badly suffered from the Trophy postponement.'' Malik blamed the ICC for giving in to the demands of players from Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand who claimed that Pakistan was an unsafe place to play cricket.

''The Pakistan government gave full security assurances and had the event taken place with fans coming from abroad perceptions and the image of our country would have changed,'' he said.

''We badly needed to host the Champions Trophy because it would have paved the way for more international cricket in Pakistan. We are now sitting idle with no activity and it's something which no player wanted.'' But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hopeful that with arch-rivals India visiting early next year, the national team will see some much needed high quality international action.

''It is a passing phase and although things don't look rosy, we hope that the home series against India at the turn of the year will kick off a busy schedule for the team,'' a PCB spokesman said. ''We keep our fingers crossed for a hectic next year.'' UNI XC AB AM UCS1142

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