'Consider me as a cricketer'

Calcutta: A day after calling off his visit to India, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said that he should be seen just as a sportsman and not as a relative of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Miandad, who was to watch the third and final ODI in Delhi Sunday, has cancelled his visit to avoid further controversy. "I should be seen just as a cricketer, a sportsperson. Being related to somebody does not mean anything. What is the problem in me getting a visa (to be in India)?" Miandad told CNN-IBN.

"I am busy in Pakistan and the thing is that Pakistan has won the series. All of his (Dawood's) family members are in India, their brothers and sisters are in India. I don't know why they were targeting me. May be because I am popular," said the former captain.

Miandad, however, felt that cricket ties between India and Pakistan should continue.

"I have played cricket, have worked for PCB and I want good relations between India and Pakistan. I want cricket ties to continue between India and Pakistan," he said.

A controversy broke out ever since it was known that Miandad had been granted a visa for his visit.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid defended the home ministry's decision to grant a visa to Miandad saying "proper" procedures were followed. Miandad, currently an official of the PCB, has family ties with Dawood, the gangster wanted in India for his role in the 1993 Bombay blasts.