KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan pondered another low-point for the country's cricketing fortunes on Friday, when the shelved Champions Trophy had been due to kick off. Captain Shoaib Malik said the players were "very disappointed" at last month's setback when the high-profile International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament was postponed over security fears. Attempts to reschedule the Trophy for October 2009 are clashing with other series, leaving the event in doubt. With ongoing security problems placing a question mark over future tours here, Malik said Pakistan's reputation had been dealt a serious blow. "As cricketers we are very disappointed," Malik told AFP. "I would rather say that disappointment is a very small word for the feeling we are going through and our cricket has badly suffered from the Trophy postponement." The September 12-28 event for the top eight nations was put off after South Africa refused to tour and players from Australia, England and New Zealand also expressed reluctance to visit. Malik said Pakistan needed to host the Trophy to prove itself as a safe venue for international cricket. "The Pakistan government gave full security assurances and had the event took place with fans coming from abroad perceptions and the image of our country would have changed," he said. "We badly needed to host the Champions Trophy because it would have paved the way for more international cricket in Pakistan. We are now sitting idle with no activity and it's something which no player wanted." Since the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, Pakistan has been a danger zone for foreign cricket teams. New Zealand returned from transit in Singapore after the attacks seven years ago. The ensuing war in Afghanistan and rise of militancy in Pakistan forced authorities here to relocate two home series - against the West Indies and Australia - to neutral venues after both teams refused to tour in 2002. In May 2002, New Zealand were forced to cut short their tour after a suicide bomb blast outside their team hotel killed 14 people, including 11 French naval staff. A measure of normality returned when South Africa and India toured Pakistan in the following two years, but both refused to play five-day Tests in troubled Karachi. Australia, who have not toured Pakistan since 1998, sparked a cricket crisis in March this year when they refused to visit for a full tour over safety fears, giving other teams the cue to boycott the Champions Trophy. Pakistan's efforts to arrange a gap-filling series also fell through as South Africa refused to host them for a one-day tri-series and attempts to invite Sri Lanka for five one-day matches failed to attract sponsors and TV interest. Despite the bleak scenario, a Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman hoped things will get better. Pakistan hosts India for three Tests and five one-day matches early next year. "It is a passing phase and although things don't look rosy we hope that with the home series against India at the turn of the year will kick off a busy schedule for the team. "We keep our fingers crossed for a hectic next year." Pakistan cricket has been hit by a series of controversies in recent years including the 2006 forfeited Test in England and doping scandals surrounding Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. Coach Bob Woolmer died suddenly during last year's World Cup, prompting fears he had been murdered.