I am ready to lend my part in promoting the game in U.S. — Wasim Akram

Former Pakistan great Wasim Akram said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should help to promote a fledgling interest in cricket in the United States.

"When I went to United States in 1985, there was just one club in Detroit. Now the number has grown to as many as 22 clubs and hundreds of people come to watch cricket matches," Wasim said on his return from a private U. S. tour.

Wasim, who holds the world record for the number of wickets taken in the game's limited-overs version, suggested the ICC organise international matches in the United States to promote the game.

"I am ready to lend my part in promoting the game but I think it would need help from the ICC to give a firm base to cricket in the U.S.," said Wasim, who retired from the game in May.

"Roots of football got firm in the U. S. only after the 1994 World Cup was held there. If a major cricket event is held in the U. S. it would be a big boost for the game," said the 37-year-old pace bowler. Wasim, who took 502 wickets in 356 one-day internationals and 414 Test wickets in his 19-year career, said he had been offered coaching jobs in the United States but had yet to make up his mind.

The ICC intends to stage a few matches of the 2007 World Cup, which is to be hosted by the West Indies, in the United States.