Pakistan’s Head Coach Waqar Younis has said that he fears cricket could die out in their country if the other teams continue to boycott them.
There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since the militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009, which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players.
During an interview with AFP, Waqar said:
“The biggest hurt is that we are not able to stage international matches.
“I fear the game might die out as we lack talent at junior level and it’s tough to indulge kids in cricket. It’s a very important aspect, we have to bring international cricket back and the government has to help in this regard.”
Waqar believes Pakistan’s quarter-final exit from the World Cup at the hands of the co-hosts Australia showed there is a lot of work to be done on the country’s cricket set-up and infrastructure.
“If we want to save Pakistan cricket we have to lift our domestic game because there was a big difference in standards at the World Cup. We were well behind other teams.
“We can’t delay it, we need power-hitters like there are in other teams and players who can score 300-plus runs,” said Waqar, whose team only crossed the 300-mark just once in seven games at the World Cup — against the amateurs of the United Arab Emirates.
“ Cricket is changing fast and we have to keep pace with that, if not we will be left far behind.”
Waqar also stressed that Pakistan need good batsmen who can apply themselves in crunch situations and can score big when it matters the most.
“Bowling has never been our problem. I think we should feel proud of our bowling at the World Cup.
“But it’s the batting where we have been struggling for a long time now and after Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan — whenever he quits — we will have a big vacuum.
“It is a matter of putting things in order. It’s not only about winning the World Cup but also improving our ranking by lifting our standards,” Waqar concluded.