Islamabad:The Pakistan Cricket Board is to pay 500,000 rupees ($5,900) in prize money to each player in the team that beat Australia in the second Test in England and has former Pakistani Test cricketers predicting the beginning of a new era.
PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said in a statement that the non-playing members of the squad and team officials will also receive 250,000 rupees ($2,950) after Pakistan leveled the two-Test series at 1-1 on Saturday under new captain Salman Butt when it chased down a target of 180 runs for the loss of seven wickets on the fourth day at Headingley.
Pakistan cricket had been going through a turbulent year and a half where the captaincy has been given to five players in three formats of the game. Two of those skippers _ Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf _ were not even selected for the series against Australia.
Butt was appointed captain just before the Headingley Test after Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from Test cricket after the loss to Australia in the first match. Young batsmen Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, replacing Younis and Yousuf, each scored a half-century.
"I can see the dawn of new era in Pakistan cricket with this victory," former Test captain Moin Khan told The Associated Press. "Young players showed they can perform in tough conditions of Headingley where the ball swung and seamed. The way the team has gelled under the new captain, it shows that we are now on the right track."
Former chief selector Abdul Qadir believes Ali and Amin deserve an extended run in the team at the expense of Younis and Yousuf.
"We should learn from this victory," Qadir said. "Chapter of Yousuf and Younis should be closed and even rest of the senior players should be warned to either perform or be left out."
Qadir said he respected all the senior players in the team including Yousuf and Younis "but when you think about as a nation you have to give sacrifices."
Another former Test captain, Rashid Latif, compared Pakistan's present young bowling attack of Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif with the former pace combination of Wasim Akram and current national team coach Waqar Younis.
"It is only after Wasim and Waqar that I have seen such a lethal bowling attack of Pakistan," Latif said. "Aamer has injected a new life in the (bowling) attack with his pace, while Asif's line and length could tie down any world-class batsman."
Pakistan is scheduled to take on England in four-Test series beginning next week, and Qadir advised the PCB to show patience with the present team instead of making changes.
"We are capable enough to beat them (England)," Qadir said. "In case we lose, we should show some tolerance because of the history the team had made at Headingley. These boys will give a lot of services to the country in future, we just needed to be patient."