In the mid-2000’s, Pakistan was a genuine powerhouse in the game as their home record spoke for itself. Several teams tried to emerge victorious in Pakistan, but all in vain, as the Asian side was full of confidence and authority in their home terrain. Just when things were looking good for the Pakistanis, tragedy struck in the form of terrorism, and since 2009, there has been negligible international cricket in Pakistan.
Former Pakistani legend and all time great Wasim Akram feels that the lack of international cricket in Pakistan has decimated the side currently. In the modern day, Pakistan is considered among the weakest of teams, as their record since the last few years has been dismal. As per Akram, the only way to improve Pakistan’s performance is to revive their home game.
Calling the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as a way to revive international cricket in Pakistan, Akram was quoted saying, “Things are better in Pakistan security-wise.” “I live there, and things are better. If teams decide to tour there, then cricket in Pakistan will evolve to a different level. “But the sooner this happens, the better. Not just for Pakistan cricket, but for world cricket, because if Pakistan cricket evolves, it will improve world cricket. The PCB and the Pakistan government are trying, things are getting better, and hopefully soon someone will put their hands up and say ‘let’s tour Pakistan’ and see what happens.”
Backing home fans to support the league, Akram further said, “The PSL was a great success.” “It was the second most watched event in Pakistan television history – 68% of the country watched it, and that is a lot of ratings. “The idea is to gradually take the PSL to Pakistan – maybe the final, or the semi-final – and see what happens. But if the PSL happens in Pakistan, every game you will get 50,000, 80,000 watching from the ground.”
Akram was also critical about Pakistan playing its “home” games in UAE, as the flat nature of the pitches dented Pakistan’s cause. “For Pakistan’s budding cricketers, there’s no cricket there. Everything is played in the UAE on bland, placid wickets and nobody is watching cricket there. One-day cricket gets a bit of support, and T20s over three hours, but for Test cricket, it is an empty stadiums, so it has affected Pakistan cricket big-time,” the former Pakistan skipper concluded.