'If we had time, we would have played 4-day matches' - Wasim Akram urges young Pakistan pacers to focus on domestic cricket instead of bowling four-over spells in franchise leagues
Pakistan fast bowlers showcased dismal performances in the home Test series against England and New Zealand in the absence of Shaheen Afridi.
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Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram has urged the country’s emerging pacers to give more weightage to domestic cricket rather than just getting carried away by the monetary rewards of bowling only four overs in the shortest format. Several Pakistan cricketers are currently featuring in the T20 leagues across the world.
At the same time, Akram also argued that while this move could benefit the young fast bowlers financially, it will deprive them from having a hunger to excel at the longest format going forward.
The former skipper’s remarks came after the national team’s dismal bowling performances in the home Test series against England and New Zealand. In these two series, the fast bowlers struggled in the absence of pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi who has been out of action for a while due to a knee injury.
If you get more money for playing only four overs, then this will be an easy decision: Wasim Akram
"If you get more money for playing only four overs, then this will be an easy decision. Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Wasim Jr. should play first-class cricket. Apart from PSL, they must play 1-2 leagues in a year, but also in long format matches. Pay attention; if we had time, we would have played 4-day matches," Akram told Cricket Pakistan.
At the same time, the ‘Sultan of Swing’ also mentioned that the Babar Azam-led side has developed a fear of losing as a result of which they are unable to get the desired results in the longest format.
"The reason for this is the fear of losing. We have to lose and win, but we should not be afraid. I do not say that (prepare) Green Top pitches but must have a little bounce, batting for two days, should turn on the third and fourth day," he added.
The Men in Green have no international cricket till April and they have ample of time to work on their strategies and create a blueprint for the Asia Cup and the World Cup this year. More importantly, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will need to figure out a way to enhance the national team’s performances in red-ball cricket going forward.
Pakistan lost two consecutive home Test series in the year gone by against Australia and England and with great difficulty managed to ensure that the series-deciding second Test against the Kiwis ended in a stalemate courtesy of veteran stumper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s stupendous 118.
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