Miandad appeals to fans to keep peace | india | Hindustan Times
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Miandad appeals to fans to keep peace

Pakistan coach Javed Miandad appealed to fans on Thursday to keep peace during South African series as the country had already suffered a cricket drought over security fears.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2003 16:35 IST

Pakistan cricket coach Javed Miandad appealed to fans Thursday to keep peace during South African series as the country had already suffered a cricket drought over security fears.

"I appeal to the crowd to maintain discipline because Pakistan's image is at stake," Miandad told reporters a day before the teams were to take to the pitch for their first one-day international match.

"If they protest anything and there is trouble, it would disturb the match and could harm the image of the country."

South Africa is the first Western side to travel to Pakistan to play cricket for 16 months, after New Zealand abandoned their tour when a bomb exploded outside their hotel in Karachi in May last year.

"We have suffered a lot because teams were not travelling to Pakistan and fans were deprived. So I would appeal to the fans to enjoy the cricket," said the former captain, one of Pakistan's best-loved cricketers.

The series was in doubt after a bomb blast in an empty office building in Karachi on September 19. The Proteas briefly cancelled the tour but changed their minds after a revised itinerary dropped the violence-prone cities of Karachi and Peshawar as venues.

Miandad vowed his young side would not disappoint the fans.

"We are up there and will do our best to live up to the expectations by winning the match," he said, hinting of plans he has to catch the "dangerous" South African batsmen Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs.

"Graeme Smith hit two double hundreds in England and reminded me of Graeme Pollock... but he still needs to establish himself."

Pakistan and South Africa play five one-dayers before Test matches in Lahore and Faisalabad.

First Published: Oct 02, 2003 16:35 IST