Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan mock Pakistan team’s bench strength by showing empty chairhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/shoaib-akhtar-younis-khan-mock-pakistans-bench-strength-by-showing-empty-chair-6058992/

Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan mock Pakistan team’s bench strength by showing empty chair

Disappointed with Pakistan's loss to Sri Lanka, Shoiab Akhtar said the PCB has forgotten to build a team and it is only focussed on saving money.

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Pakistan’s t20I series loss to Sri Lanka has irked former Pakistan cricketers including Shoaib Akhtar and Younis Khan. (Screengrab)

Disappointed with the Pakistan team’s poor performance against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side, who beat them 2-0 in the three-match T20I series, former Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, and cricket expert Nauman Niaz ripped apart the country’s cricket board and its policies. Pakistan, which is ranked number 1 in the ICC’s T20I rankings, lost their first match by 64 runs and the second by 35 runs thanks to some poor batting and bowling.

Questioning the PCB’s decision to give full power and authority to coach Misbah-ul-Haq, Akhtar said the Pakistan Cricket Board has forgotten how to build a team and they are simply trying to save money.

“Pakistan cricket will never improve by giving one person the entire power and responsibility. You can save money by appointing one person as Coach and selector, but the thing will only improve when the board will look for people who have an eye for talent,” he said.

Giving the example of India both Akhtar and Khan said that Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are finding talent at the grassroot level and Pakistan needs to rope in former players to help the team.

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Virat Kohli is a bowler’s captain. Kohli is not doing captaincy when he is with the bowlers, he is enjoying the bowlers rattling the opposition. It is a good thing that Indian bowlers have such a good captain,” Akhtar said.

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Akhtar also revealed that Indian bowler Mohammed Shami had called him after India’s semi-final loss to New Zealand in the World Cup. The 44-year-old pacer said that he has always believed in Shami’s abilities as a reverse-swing bowler.

“After India’s World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India. I told him not to lose heart but to maintain his fitness. I told him that I want him to become an out and out fast bowler. He has reverse swing, which is a luxury in the sub-continent, I told him you can become king of reverse swing,” Akhtar said.

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“Now, you see what he has done, he has got wickets from a flat pitch in Visakhapatnam. I am very happy for him. Sadly, our Pakistani fast bowlers do not ask me how they can improve their bowling, but the Indian bowlers like Shami are doing that. It is a sad scenario as far as my country is concerned,” Akhtar said.