Lahore, May 30: Pakistan's former cricket captain Wasim Akram on Friday said it is just a matter of time before international cricket becomes a routine affair in his country. He said this after seeing the passion over the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe, a first series in the troubled country after six years. [Pak beat Zim in 2nd ODI to win series]
Pakistan was isolated as hosts of international cricket after the Sri Lankan national side was targetted by terrorists in Karachi in 2009. A number of people were injured in the tragedy that rocked the world. Pakistan consequently lost the right to co-host the 2011 ICC World Cup and played their home matches in the United Arab Emirates. [Transformer blast during match injures 2 policemen]
Akram, who has over 900 international wickets, was present at the Gaddafi Stadium during the second one-day international between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The hosts won the match by six wickets to pocket the series, a first in 17 months.
The remaining game of the series will be played at the Gaddafi on Sunday. The two teams played a two-match T20 series before the one-day matches which was also won by the hosts.
Akram, who played between 1984 and 2003 and was the man of the match in the final of the 1992 World Cup that Pakistan had won, said seeing the match at the Gaddafi brought back memories of his playing days.
The 49-year-old also praised the Pakistan Cricket Board for hosting the series successfully. There was, however, a transformer blast at the stadium during the match in which two policemen were injured.
Zimbabwe agreed to visit Pakistan for the short series only after they were promised security arrangements reserved for state heads and top officials of Zimbabwe Cricket praised the hosts for the security arrangements and even requested other international sides to visit Pakistan.
Wasim praised Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for making the series possible -- the first in Pakistan since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
Fans packed the 27,000-capacity stadium in the two T20 and one-day internationals played here so far.
Akram said the perception of other teams will change gradually and hoped that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be positive next time. The ICC refused to send its officials for the ongoing series over security concerns.
"This is the first step and slowly and gradually more teams will come. I hope that perceptions will change and I also hope that the cricketing world will take notice who have been lukewarm in praising this series," said Wasim.
Akram said cricket in his country suffered because of no international cricket matches for six years.
He also hoped that India will revive cricketing ties with Pakistan soon for he felt the beauty of Indo-Pak cricket is unmatched.