Wasim Akram Says Young Pakistani Players Need More Support

The common complaint in international cricket is that teams play too many matches, but Wasim Akram said Pakistan were suffering for precisely the opposite reason.

Updated: October 14, 2014 23:34 IST
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Pakistan team vs Australia
Pakistan players celebrate in the 2nd ODI vs Australia.

© AP

Karachi: Former captain Wasim Akram on Tuesday blamed a lack of international cricket and the absence of a system for developing young players for Pakistan's disappointing defeats in recent months. (Read: 'I am Not Misbah, I am Afridi')

Pakistan lost the final one-day international against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to complete a 3-0 rout, and the upcoming Test series in the United Arab Emirates looks likely to be a tough proposition.

The common complaint in international cricket is that teams play too many matches, but Wasim said Pakistan were suffering for precisely the opposite reason.

"Australia were always favourites to win the one-day series," Wasim told AFP. "So don't blame the Pakistan team, because they are playing so much less international cricket than other countries." (Related: Pakistan Authorities Freeze Misbah's Bank Accounts for Tax Evasion)

Pakistan lost one-day and Test series against Sri Lanka in August -- their first international encounters in six months.

"India is playing too much cricket and so is Sri Lanka, and they are performing well," said Wasim, who also hit out at a lack of infrastructure and shortage of junior-level tours.

"I think the Pakistan Cricket Board should arrange more Under-19 tours and Pakistan 'A' tours which will help groom youngsters but that is not there," he said. (Also Read: Younis Khan Returns to Test Squad for Australia Series)

The suspension of star spinner Saeed Ajmal, banned last month for an illegal bowling action, hit Pakistan hard.

"Pakistan's attack is very weak without Ajmal and they will be all at sea whether to make spinning wickets for the Tests or make fast pitches, because both ways they are in trouble," said Wasim.

Pakistan play a two-Test series against Australia, with the first match starting in Dubai on October 22.

"We have so much talent -- look at Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq. But they are not learning from their mistakes and are not brave enough at this level," said Wasim. (Tendulkar, Dravid to Play Exhibition Match in Pakistan)

Fast bowling legend Wasim urged struggling one-day and Test captain Misbah-ul Haq to take a positive approach with the team, or step aside.

"I think Misbah should take brave and aggressive decisions but he is not doing that," said Wasim of Misbah, who withdrew himself from the third and final one-dayer in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Misbah on Monday told AFP his one-day future was linked to his batting form.

"If any vice captain is ready to lead then Pakistan must say goodbye to him as far as one-day is concerned," said Wasim.

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