Pakistan cricket is going through one of the toughest phases in its history.
Foreign teams refuse to visit Pakistan due to security concerns and Pakistan Cricket Board’s efforts to revive international cricket in the country are bearing no fruits at the moment.
The PCB tried to start a Twenty20 league (Pakistan Super League) on the lines of Indian Premier League but due to the unavailibility of foreign players the plans had to be shelved for the moment. Many of the top players of the world are willing to be part of the league if it is played outside Pakistan.
Adding to the woes, recently, Pakistan were whitewashed by South Africa in the three-Test series. Though Pakistan won a Twenty20 match on Sunday, the heavy defeat in the Tests needs attention.
Waqar Younis, former coach and legendry fast bowler of Pakistan, while talking to Khaleej Times shed some light on the pathetic condition of Pakistan cricket.
“South Africa tour is always a very hard and we used to struggle there in the beginning but we always made a comeback and tried to make a match of it.
“It is a very difficult time for Pakistan team and they look like a disjointed unit. Their capitulation against South Africa is very alarming. The team needs some direction and it can only be done by the coaches. During my tenure as Pakistan coach I always tried to convince players to put the team’s interest ahead of everything.
“The scars of this defeat will take time to heal and powers-that-be in the PCB should pay attention to this by helping players to come out of this abyss. South Africa are coming here next year and I hope they will be well prepared. We played well against them in the previous series in the UAE by drawing all the Tests,” Waqar said.
Pakistan were bowled out for 49 in the first Test in South Africa and none of the batsmen put up any resistance. Only two centuries were scored by Pakistani batsmen on the tour — one by experienced Younis Khan and the other by young Asad Shafiq. It was a dismal performance as a team but captain Misbahul Haq looked completely out of sorts. Waqar agreed Misbah failed to deliver as captain and a player, but says: “Not only Misbah, the whole team failed to perform. Remove him as a captain but is there anyone capable to lead the team? Mohammad Hafeez showed some promise in the past but his own performance abroad in Test matches is below average. He is good enough in shorter versions the game but giving him the reins of Test team at the moment might not be a wise decision.”
Many former greats of Pakistan are seeking the removal of Dav Whatmore as a coach and he is under pressure after bad results.
“It was bound to happen after such a dismal Test series. I don’t want to criticise him since I used to be Pakistan coach recently. I know how difficult job it is.
“Some introspection is needed to put the team back on track. It is high time for the coaching staff to help solve the problems in the minds of the players.”
Waqar and Wasim Akram terrorised the batsmen of the world with their fearsome bowling. But the master of swing laments the attitude of players when it comes to playing Test cricket.
“Now players need shortcuts to prominence and want to play only shorter versions of the game.
“Pakistan were struggling to find fast bowlers for the Test series on the tour as we saw a number debuts by fast bowlers but as soon as T20 arrived we found many quickies ready to have a go at it. Test cricket is the ultimate and we have to pay attention to it,” former Pakistan captain concluded.