Misbah hopes domestic T20 league will end international cricket drought

Islamabad: Misbah-ul-Haq is hopeful Pakistan`s own Twenty20 tournament like the Indian Premier League (IPL) would bring back international cricket in the country.

Pakistan have not played a Test match on home soil since 2009 because of ongoing security concerns, but one-day and Test Misbah, said a new domestic T20 set-up could help attract overseas players and begin to change perceptions.

Misbah said he thinks through T20 cricket they can also end their forced drought of international cricket at home, adding there is no doubt their cricket and players have suffered because of the refusal of teams to visit Pakistan due to security concerns.

A hopeful Misbah added what they should do is organise their own domestic T20 league over a period of three weeks and try to also see if they can invite some low-profile foreign players that will help the (Pakistan Cricket) Board portray a soft image of Pakistan and break the ice for teams to come and play in the country.

Four years ago armed militants attacked Sri Lanka`s team bus in Lahore, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding six Sri Lankan players, and since then foreign teams have refused to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns, leaving Pakistan to play home matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and England.

Misbah said he would like to see one proper T20 league championship like it is held in other countries, with teams playing on home and away basis, adding presently the duration of the tournaments is too short and cannot help produce or groom players.

Misbah further said when he had spoken to overseas players they had been keen to play in the planned Pakistan Super League T20, which was supposed to begin this week but was postponed in February because of reported logistical problems and further security concerns from international bodies.