Pak team not the crowd-pullers anymore: Sohail

Islamabad: Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail reckons that the national team is no more the `crowd-pullers` in world cricket, which he believes is the reason behind top international teams` refusal to visit the country.

"Pakistan cricket team have always been ranked amongst the top three or four teams in the world, but they do not enjoy that status anymore. We are not the crowd-pullers of world cricket anymore and the international teams know that," the Daily Times quoted Sohail, as saying.

Sohail further said that cricket had become a commercial sport and all countries were looking to increase revenue through the fixtures.

"Other teams and boards probably know that they won`t be much affected even if they refuse to play Pakistan. A major reason for the reluctance of foreign teams to come and play in Pakistan is because our boys are not competitive enough," the former captain said.

"It becomes difficult to turn-down a tour request when the hosts include top performers and can pull sponsors. We are languishing very low in the Test and ODI rankings which is a big cause of concern," he added.

Leading cricket teams have refused to visit Pakistan following last year`s terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus, which has also forced Pakistan to hold its `home` series against Australia and England in England.

In the last two years, Pakistan `home` games have also been staged in the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

Pakistan, which was due to co-host the 2011 World Cup, was also stripped of its matches following the attack on the Sri Lankan team.

Pakistan was supposed to hold 14 matches, including one semi-final. Eight of Pakistan`s matches have been awarded to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh.