Lankan businessman pleads to save Pak cricket

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Colombo, Mar.8 (ANI): A businessman who founded a charity that raised two million dollars for Sri Lanka after the December 26, 2004 Asian tsunami, has pleaded for Australia's cricket community to "do everything possible to help Pakistan".

Sri Lanka-born Harry Solomons's plea echoed distraught Pakistan captain Younus Khan's warning last week that without the availability of international exposure, Pakistani cricket could die.

"If something is not done quickly, maybe everyone [will go] to the IPL, ICL or county cricket," Younus told Cricinfo.com.

"I hope that does not happen. It is up to the ICC and the bosses from around the world to make sure that cricket is not lost in Pakistan because of a couple of mad people," he added.

Solomons, who enlisted his network of high-profile Australian and international cricketers to raise funds to build homes in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami, said he been asked a few months ago by former employee and Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke if he believed Australia should tour Pakistan.

"I told him 'no,"' said Solomons, who provided a reference for Trevor Bayliss when he applied for the Sri Lanka coaching job.

"But after what has happened now, I think it is vital for the Australian cricket community not to abandon Pakistan."

Solomons imports bats and cricket clothes from Pakistan. Several Sydney grade teams use the gear.

"Pakistan is a great cricketing nation and if we abandon them now, cricket there will die. We mustn't allow that to happen," he said. (ANI)

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