Sarfraz Ahmad Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Former foreign cricketers believe there is a dire need to bring international cricket to Pakistan as the crowd and players are starved to see the game happening in their own country.

Former Australian Captain Ian Chappell said international cricket not played in Pakistan is a big problem too for Pakistan cricket to go ahead.

He advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to take some small steps in reviving international cricket in the country. “Don’t try for five Tests or something like that, just some small steps are needed to get the world comfortable of playing in Pakistan and then you can start taking bigger steps,” he said while talking at a private news channel.

West Indian cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards, who is also the head coach for Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Quetta Gladiators, said: “We came here for the PSL final held in Lahore in March and the reception we got to see from the people shows how much they are starved for international cricket”.

“We have to find ways of getting international cricket in Pakistan in a big way. When you look at the world in terms of security to be fair we are not safe anywhere,” he said.

Many other foreign and Pakistan cricketers also tweeted after Pakistan’s big win in the final of the Champions Trophy against India.

Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag congratulated Pakistan team for winning the final. “You played very well... you deserved to win. This win will be good for Pakistan cricket,” he tweeted.

Former English Captain Michael Vaughan said good cricket is played in Pakistan and Pakistan team’s performance in the final was awesome.

Former South Africa Captain Graeme Smith said Pakistan team showed how Champions should play.

English cricketer Kevin Pietersen said he was proud of Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmad.

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy said nobody thought of Pakistan winning. “You deserve this win. He also praised Fakhar Zaman and said it is a result of PSL,” he said.

Former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara said Pakistan team performed very well. “Passion to win was seen in the players,” he said.

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said Pakistan team played with aggression. “Young and experienced players all proved good in the match,” he said.

Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle said Pakistan took time in deciding what Sarfraz is capable of. “He’s a great leader and have made the whole team believe in him,” he said.

English bowler Stuart Broad praised Mohammad Amir for his superb first spell in the final, while former Pakistan great Wasim Akram said Amir’s bowling reminded him of his time.

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja saluted Pakistan team for the victory. “I never doubted Pakistan team’s form and my sixth sense,” he added.