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Abdul Razzaq calls current Pakistani cricketers selfish; says his career ended due to differences with coach

He also regretted playing in the ICL in 2008 and said that though he had a lot of cricket left in him when he came back.

Abdul Razzaq
Abdul Razzaq of Pakistan. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Former Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was considered to be one of the most dangerous cricketers in both ODI and Test cricket in his day. Razzaq had made his debut for Pakistan in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 1996 and wore the Test whites for the first time in 1999 against Australia. Razzaq was a more than potent right-handed medium pacer and a hard-hitting batsman, who was capable of batting at no.3 in ODIs for Pakistan.

In 265 ODIs, he made 5080 runs with 3 centuries to his name and picked 269 wickets. While in 46 Tests, he scored 1946 runs and picked 100 wickets. Razzaq also picked up a hat-trick in Test cricket. However, after enjoying a long run in the Pakistani team, his career began to go downhill and by 2007, he retired and joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL). He made a comeback into the team in 2009 and remained with Pakistan till 2011, playing his last ODI against Sri Lanka.

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Sarfaraz ideal to lead Pakistan

Recently in an interview with cricketpakistan.com.pk, he praised the current Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz was recently banned for four international matches for breaching the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) racism code. The all-rounder called Sarfaraz the ideal person to lead Pakistan at the moment and said, “If he was not the captain, the team would have been in a lot of trouble. He has kept a cordial atmosphere inside the dressing room through his good leadership skills.”

Razzaq was also critical of the current crop of Pakistani cricketers and called them selfish. He said that since the players were thinking of their own performances first, the team’s success was hampered. He gave the example of Pakistan team’s position in the ODI and Test rankings.

He also mentioned that Pakistan needs a local head coach as he thinks that the foreign coaches have contributed nothing to the improvement of their cricket. “I believe that only former international cricketers should be handed over coaching duties as that person is better equipped to fine tune the skills of young cricketers because of their experience of playing the game internationally,” Razzaq added.

“I think the coach of the Pakistan team should be a local cricketer with experience of playing international cricket,” he added.

He also regretted playing in the ICL in 2008 and said that though he had a lot of cricket left in him when he came back, the then coaches and PCB chairman hampered his progress. Currently, the former all-rounder who is associated with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators as their bowling coach said, “I’m keen on stepping into a coaching role and transfer my experience to youngsters, especially from under 9 to under 19 level players. I have done level two coaching course from England as well.”

In conclusion, Razzaq shared his equation with then coach Waqar Younis and said that Younis didn’t like him and hence he wasn’t able to play for Pakistan. “It becomes difficult when your coach does not like you and that is why I was unable to play for Pakistan.”

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