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Shakib keen to play in Pakistan once again

Karachi: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is currently representing Peshawar Zalmi in the ongoing second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), has expressed his desire to play again in Pakistan once things get better.

Shakib, however, will be unavailable for the final in Lahore even if his team make it to the title decider as he and the other Bangladesh players in the PSL will be leaving the league on February 28 due to international commitments.

“I last played in Pakistan in 2008; it was an amazing experience for me.The crowd, the ground, the environment, the fans and the atmosphere were all fabulous. I really wish to play again in Pakistan once things get better,” the Express Tribune quoted the Bangladesh all-rounder as saying.

Although Bangladesh were whitewashed 5-0 in the ODIs against Pakistan in 2008, Shakib himself impressed with both bat and ball in the series by scoring a century and grabbing a `man-of-the-match` award.

The 29-year-old also admitted that the shine of the PSL is lost to an extent since it is being held outside of Pakistan.

He further wished to see the situation in the country become much better in the coming future so that Pakistan once again start hosting international tournaments and series.

“If the PSL was held In Pakistan, then it would have garnered much more passion and excitement than it has here in the UAE. Right now the situation is a bit difficult back in Pakistan but I hope someday this all will get better and Pakistan will start hosting international tournaments and series again,” Shakib said.

While comparing the PSL with other leagues in the world, Shakib insisted that the standard of the Pakistan league is almost similar to that of the other lucrative T20 leagues taking place in the world.

“It is a great success for Pakistan cricket; it is almost to the standard of other T20 leagues taking place around the world. The Pakistan Cricket Board must be lauded for holding such a quality tournament. All the leagues around the world give you a chance to interact with players from other countries but few succeed in creating the kind of environment that the PSL has,” he said.

With just a week to go before the final of the PSL 2017, the Punjab government is yet to announce a formal decision on whether the finale will be hosted in Lahore or not.

The doubts over whether the PCB should hold the PSL final in Lahore on March 5 rose following the February 13 suicide bombing in which 13 people were killed.

It should be noted that Pakistan have not hosted any international cricket tournaments since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009,when six Pakistani Policemen were killed and some of the visiting players were injured.

–ANI