No international cricket bad for Pak: Amarnath

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Kolkata, Oct 10 (UNI) Former India player Mohinder Amarnath today said the absence of international matches in Pakistan will hamper the development of the next generation cricketers in the strife torn nation.

''It's very sad for the Pakistan cricket, the country and the people. Sportsmen like to continue with their activities. But such incidents hamper the prospect of the younger players who are dreaming to represent the country,'' Amarnath told mediapersons here.

Pakistan has not played a single Test match this year with Australia postponing a proposed tour earlier this year. The prestigious Champions Trophy, which was to be held in Pakistan, was pushed back to October next year when several teams expressed fears over security after a string of bomb blasts rocked the country.

The legendary all-rounder, who was a part of the World Cup winning team in 1983, said playing Tests at neutral venues would not be of much help to Pakistan.

''Playing at home is different altogether and when you play Test matches in the third country, its never going to be the same,'' Amarnath felt. ''They have signed some contract with Dubai but its never going to be the same.'' ''I can only pray that things get better in Pakistan and the players play more cricket as it is definitely missing. I hope that things will settle down and they have series in Pakistan,'' he hoped.

The 58-year-old, however, was not in favour of the BCCI going out of its way to help the Pakistan board.

''What India can do, tell me. Why should we take care of other country, why not our own country? Why to deprive our players?,'' he asked.

Rubisshing complaints of too much cricket by Indian players, Amarnath said,''I don't think that they are playing too many matches. But there should be a calendar according to which the players should play matches.

''Everybody is playing the same number of matches so the players should not complain on an individual basis. It's their job to play.'' He also had a word of praise for the boxers and wrestlers who made the country proud at the Beijing Olympics and appealed to the government and private agencies to take care of sportsmen.

''For other sports, things will change for better. Gold medal and Bronze at the Olympics is a good sign. But I would like to see government taking more initiatives, all the big houses and companies coming forward taking care of the players and their practices,'' he remarked.

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