'Pakistan need to restore confidence of cricketing nations'

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Pakistan authorities need to restore the confidence of the cricketing world to bring international activity back to the country, an Asian Cricket Council official said Tuesday.

Pakistan authorities need to restore the confidence of the cricketing world to bring international activity back to the country, according to the Asian Cricket Council.

Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since a brazen militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

The Asian Cricket Council chief executive Ashraful Haque said the situation was improving but that Pakistan needed to do more to convince teams to tour there.

"At the ACC level we are doing our best to help Pakistan, through educational things, convincing Under-15 and Under-19 teams to come but Pakistan needs to restore the confidence of the cricketing nations," Haque told <i>AFP</i> on Tuesday.

The attack, which left eight people dead and seven visiting players injured, caused foreign teams to shun tours to Pakistan, leaving it in international isolation.

The five years of exile have forced Pakistan to play most of its home series at neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates. Haque said there efforts are underway to convince smaller Asian nations to tour Pakistan once again.

"I have no security concerns in Pakistan," added Haque, a former first-class cricketer from Bangladesh. "We are trying to convince the minor Asian cricketing nations like the UAE, Hong Kong and Nepal to tour Pakistan in a programme which will give an opportunity to these fledgling countries to play bigger Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."

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