Sohail slams Raja for criticising Pak cricket

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Aamir Sohail has lashed out at former captain and teammate Ramiz Raja for criticising Pakistan cricket.

Updated: December 29, 2010 17:29 IST
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Aamir Sohail has lashed out at former captain and teammate Ramiz Raja for criticising Pakistan cricket.

Sohail, who played 47 Tests and 156 one-day internationals, said he was surprised by Raja's recent statement in which he criticised the state of Pakistan cricket and painted a dark picture about its future.

"I don't know how Ramiz has the audacity to come on television and state that Pakistan cricket doesn't have quality. It has quality. Ex-cricketers like Ramiz have ruined Pakistan cricket," Sohail told a website.

"When the likes of Ramiz introduced the current format of domestic cricket, they should have thought about introducing teams like Quetta to the first class structure, why they gave Quetta first class status and why they didn't give other more deserving regional teams first class status if they were keen on increasing the number of teams.

"Ramiz and others should think about what they have done in the past and what they have contributed, before making such statements on television," Sohail said.

Sohail, a television commentator and an expert himself, also criticised the board for creating confusion and uncertainty over the announcement of the 30-member preliminary squad for the World Cup.

"This just epitomises the workings of this cricket board which is not sure most of the time of what it is planning," he said.

"This is not the first time that the team will go into a World Cup with problems and concerns and an unsettled squad. In 1992 when we won the World Cup things were unsettled, there were players flying in and out of the squad in Australia prior to the World Cup.

"The same thing happened in 1999 where there were problems. Only in 1996 was it a settled side. In 2003 we weren't sure who should be captain and eventually players like Salman Butt were not selected," he recalled.

Sohail said if he had been in place of chief selector, Mohsin Khan, he would have by now sat down with the board and finalised things.

"If I was Mohsin Khan I would have already sat down with the board and clarified what my options are regarding selection for the World Cup. I would have already developed a strategy for the World Cup," Sohail said.

He also made it clear that riding on talent alone Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik should be in the World Cup squad.

"They both have ability and bring variety to the one-day team, however there are always question marks over Akmal's wicketkeeping ability. As for Malik, he can contribute a lot to the team. However there has to be clarity on whether these boys are available for selection," he added.

Sohail also spoke about the future of senior batsmen, Younus Khan and Muhammad Yousuf.

"Younus has plenty to offer in one-day internationals but Yousuf should have confined himself to Test match cricket. The reason why Yousuf is out of the side now is that he became too greedy that he should be featuring in all formats of the game.

"If a player of Yousuf's calibre is playing Test cricket then he is earning around 350,000 rupees per match and if he's featuring in a one-day international he will earn even more than that per match," Sohail noted.

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