FORMER Pakistan cricket captain Waseem Akram has pointed out that India has cancelled the cricket tour it was supposed to make to Pakistan as a result of the Mumbai carnage, which it blames on Pakistan, though it has used the excuse of security to make the cancellation. Mr Akram said this while giving an interview to a Gulf newspaper. What he did not point out, perhaps because international politics is not his area of expertise, but he was right on the money when he said that Pakistan was being starved of international cricket. This is one of the costs of being a fighter in the USA's War on Terror: India is not the first country to pull out because of the security situation, and is merely following Australia and South Africa. The result is as Mr Akram says: Pakistani players, not tested at the international level, do not progress as players, rather they regress. Mr Akram may or may not be using insider knowledge when he links participation by Pakistani players in the Indian Cricket League of Twentytwenty cricket to the lack of Test cricket. He did not mention the pressure that India placed on Sri Lanka not to tour Pakistan, though he did mention the upcoming Sri Lankan tour as offering international cricket, to be followed next season by a Pakistan tour to Australia. He singled out the latter as a particularly tough tour, as Pakistan will not have had much Test cricket by then. He made a strong call for India to tour Pakistan, expressing the hope that this would happen soon. Mr Akram needs to pay more attention to what is happening in Indian cricket. It is in a shambles because of the IPL and ICL, and Pakistani players are the least of the foreign talent that has been attracted to India though the rebel Leagues. India has beaten Australia, but that does not establish it as the world Number One. If not Australia, then it is probably South Africa, which Australia is due to tour after they have played their one-day series. Pakistan does need to play India, but not as much as Mr Akram says.