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Mohammad Amir. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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I Am Being Mentally Tortured: Mohammad Amir Takes Indefinite Break From International Cricket

Mohammad Amir, who has many times earlier talked about his mismanagement of workload, is looking to end his international career. The speedster has revealed that he has decided to take a break from the game because he is being ‘mentally tortured’. As per him, the relation between Pakistan team management and him had become sour after his retirement from Test cricket last year.

In a recent interview, Mohammad Amir, who featured in 36 Test matches, 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is, openly expressed that he was being tortured.

“Right now I am leaving cricket. I am being mentally tortured. I don’t think, I will be able to handle this kind of torture because I have been tortured a lot from 2010 to 2015,” Mohammad Amir was quoted as saying by Pakistan media.

My retirement was attached to my desire of playing T20 leagues: Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir,
Mohammad Amir. Credits: ICC

Mohammed Amir also took a dig at current Pakistan team management, stating that his Test cricket retirement was wrongly linked to his desire to play in franchise leagues. He added that he would officially release the statement of his retirement from international cricketer after returning to Pakistan. He has recently completed his assignment in Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020.

“My personal decision to leave Test cricket was taken in the wrong way. My retirement was attached to my desire of playing T20 leagues. I was wishing to invest everything in white-ball cricket for Pakistan. But every now and then someone or the other person came out with a statement. Our bowling coach came out and said, I ditched them, somebody says workload wasn’t properly handled,” Mohammad Amir added.

Mohammad Amir,
Mohammad Amir. Image Credit: Getty.

Although Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has released a statement, reading that Amir has informed the CEO Wasim Khan that he won’t be available to play international cricket (for an indefinite period).

The left-arm claimed 11 wickets in 10 matches during the recently-concluded LPL, where his side Galle Gladiators played the final but could not clinch the trophy.

Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had the right to host the Asia Cup 2020, and after a long time, it was a major event that Pakistan was set to host at home. But the outbreak of the coronavirus had an impact on all the cricketing schedules. Like other big events and international series, the Asia cup was postponed to next year, i.e., 2021.

In the latest development, PCB Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan has informed that the hosting right of the Asia Cup 2021 has been given to Sri Lanka while for 2022, Pakistan has bagged the rights. It will be the first time since 2008 that Pakistan will arrange this tournament on their home soil.

“The next Asia Cup will be hosted in Sri Lanka in June and we have got hosting rights now for the 2022 Asia Cup,” Khan was quoted as saying in Times Now.

Asia Cup 2020 was set to be hosted in Pakistan:

 

Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan 1
(Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Asia Cup 2020 was scheduled to take place in August and September, but it couldn’t be conducted because of the coronavirus. But as sports has marked its return after the addition of new norms, the next year is likely to go according to the plan.

Pakistan was earlier denoted as a dangerous area because of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. Still, they have worked on clearing their image after hosting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka teams at home. Last month, Zimbabwe toured there and played ODI and T20I series. The Babar Azam-led side comfortably registered the victory in both the series.

Pakistan
Pakistan team. (Credits: Twitter)

Currently, the Pakistan team is in New Zealand to play the T20I series and Test series. But eight Pakistani players have tested positive for the coronavirus for which New Zealand health authorities have highly criticized them.

PCB
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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ICC Ensures All Teams To Get Visas For The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021

ICC has made it clear that all participating teams will be given visas according to an agreement with BCCI dispersing PCB CEO Wasim Khan’s unfounded fear according to media reports. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan’s effort to provoke controversy by calling for visa assurance from International Cricket Council (ICC) for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India hasn’t found many takers.

ICC dispelled the PCB CEO’s unwanted fear, according to media reports that their players might face visa issues while travelling to India for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

ICC
ICC Image Credit: Twitter.

ICC Plans Men’s T20 World Cup In 2021 And India To Ensure Visas

Speaking to ANI, an ICC spokesperson said that planning for the tournament was being made keeping in mind that all teams will be provided with visas.

“The Host Agreement for all ICC events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, provides that the host member will ensure visas are provided for all competing teams. The planning for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India is underway on that basis,” the spokesperson said.

PCB CEO Wasim Khan
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

A BCCI official said that Wasim Khan seems to be ignorant that the issue was resolved.

“I think that statement of the PCB CEO stemmed from ignorance. This issue was laid to rest last year itself when the GOI (Government of India) had written to the Presidents of the IOA and the IOC on the issue. So unless he is privy to some future course of action to be taken by Pakistan that would deteriorate the circumstances drastically, it is a non-issue,” the official told ANI.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in October 2021, and PCB does not want any hiccups leading up to the showpiece event.

International Olympic Committee Reconsiders Decision As Visa Issue Resolves

The above-mentioned letter was issued on June 2019, by the then Sports Secretary Radhe Shyam Julaniya after a couple of Pakistan shooters were denied a visa to compete in the ISSF World Shooting Championship in Delhi. The visa issue had led to the International Olympic Committee reconsidering the decision to hand India international sports events.

ISSF Shooting
ISSF Shooting. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The letter from him, in possession of ANI, clearly stated that the country of origin of athletes wouldn’t be a hindrance for them to get visas and participate in international sporting events in the country.

“It’s the policy of the government that India will hold international sporting events and will permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee (NOC) recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to the international federation concerned to participate.”

” Such participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of the country of origin of the athletes,” Julaniya had written to Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) President Narinder Batra and marked a copy to IOC chief Thomas Bach.

PCB has also sought for December 2020 to January 2021 deadline from ICC about the visa issue. The arch-rivals last played a bilateral cricket series between them in 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India for a limited-overs series. Ever since then the two teams have met only in a major ICC tournament.

Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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We Are Very Confident They Will Come: PCB CEO After Sending Invitation To England To Tour Pakistan In January 2021

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan informed that they had sent an official invitation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to tour Pakistan to play three-match T20I series in January 2021.

England have not visited Pakistan since the 2005-06 season when the team toured for a Test and one-day series. The countries had stopped touring Pakistan after the attack on the bus of Sri Lankan players in 2006. But the Asian country was successful in bringing back cricket at home last year in October after they hosted bilateral series against Sri Lanka.

England likely to arrive in Pakistan in January: PCB

england vs pakistan
(Dan Mullan/Pool via AP)

PCB CEO stated that they have created a window in January next year to host England. Earlier, Pakistan had toured England when coronavirus cases were increasing rapidly worldwide. Khan said that it was a courageous decision to send our players at health risk, but we agreed to play to resume cricket.

“Yes, we have now sent an official invitation to the ECB inviting them to send their team and have also created a window between 13 and 20 January to play the three T20 series,” Khan told a Pakistani channel.

“When we took the decision of sending the team to England, we were worried because of the COVID-19 and bio-security bubble situations and some people also voiced their concerns that might be putting our players into a health risk,” Khan conceded.

“It wasn’t easy for us when some 10 players tested positive prior to leaving for the tour,” he recalled. “But we sent the team because we felt that it was imperative to resume cricket activities and the resumption of world cricket depended on how well the bio-secure bubble worked in the series.”

England, Pakistan
Image Credit: ICC Twitter

Wasim Khan is confident that England will come as he hopes that other countries will also get aspire to tour Pakistan after the English men’s arrival.

“We are very confident they will come and if that happens it will be great for Pakistan cricket as it will open the doors for other top teams like Australia and New Zealand to also come to Pakistan.”

Pakistan had earlier this year hosted bilateral series against Bangladesh. Also, the first time the Pakistan Super League was hosted at their home this year.

India Pakistan Fans
India Pakistan Fans
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PCB Looking To Become Self-Sustainable: Wasim Khan

Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB)Chief Executive Officer said that they were looking to become self-sustainable without worrying about a bilateral series against India and the recent deal it signed with PTV is a step in that direction. India and Pakistan now meet only in ICC events like World Cups.

Wasim Khan said Pakistan cricket has a lot to look forward to without worrying about playing India in a bilateral series. India and Pakistan have not played in a bilateral series since 2012.

PCB CEO Wasim Khan.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Wasim Khan: Pakistan Cricket Has A Lot To Look Forward To Without Worrying About Playing India In Bilateral Series

The India–Pakistan cricketing rivalry is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world. The tense relationship between the two neighbouring countries laid the foundations for the emergence of an intense sporting rivalry between the two nations who had shared a common cricketing heritage.

The two sides first played in 1952, when Pakistan toured India. Recently the 1999 Kargil War and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks have also interrupted cricketing ties between the two nations.

“My message to fans and followers of Pakistan cricket is that we have achieved a lot so far and there is still a lot of hard work ahead, but Pakistan cricket has a lot to look forward to without worrying about playing India [in bilateral series],” Khan told PakPassion.net in an interview.

“The BCCI have to get government of India’s permission before they play Pakistan and that’s a fact. So, based on that and the current regime in power, their outlook on life and their opinions on certain matters, including their views on Pakistan, it is highly unlikely that in the near future Pakistan will play India,” he said.

India vs Pakistan
India vs Pakistan. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In 1999, immediately following then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s historic visit to Pakistan, the Pakistani team toured India for Test matches and played in an ODI competition before the Kargil War again put bilateral relations in a jeopardy.

Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s peace initiative of 2003 led to India touring Pakistan after a gap of almost 15 years. Subsequent exchange tours were held in 2005 and 2006 before the 2008 Mumbai attacks led to the suspension of India’s planned tour of Pakistan in 2009 and all future engagements in Pakistan. 

The rise of domestic terrorism in Pakistan saw them not hosting international cricket since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in 2009, and Pakistan was even stripped of its co-host status for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Bilateral ties finally resumed when BCCI invited the Pakistan national team to tour India for three ODIs and two T20Is in December 2012 which was, unfortunately, the last time the two teams met in a bilateral series.

Wasim Khan: PCB Signed A Deal With PTV As Board Want To Become Self- Sustainable

Wasim Khan said that the PCB was looking to become independent and not to worry about a bilateral series against India and the recent deal it signed with PTV and cable operators is a step in that direction.

“We just signed a deal with PTV and cable operators which will generate $200m over the next three years and it’s very important that we as a Board become self-sustainable and that is something we are working on, so that the PCB is in a position to invest in the right areas,” he said.

Pakistan With 2017 champions trophy
Pakistan during 2017 Champions Trophy. image credit: Getty Images.

“We will continue to play India in ICC tournaments but in terms of bilateral cricket I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. We have got a lot to look forward to in the next two years and I think we need to focus on the amount of cricket which is coming up. We also have three World Cups in the next three years, and we have four of the biggest cricket nations coming to play in Pakistan.”

Wasim Khan mentioned that Pakistan will continue to play against India in ICC tournaments although PCB doesn’t expect bilateral cricket to happen soon.

India has the better record in ICC tournaments, with Pakistan yet to win a single match in either the 50 overs World Cup or T20 World Cup in meetings between the two teams. In the Champions Trophy, however, Pakistan have won three of the five meetings between the two sides which include the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final.

This was the second time the two teams had met in an ICC final, with India winning the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 Final in South Africa by a margin of only five runs. India won all seven matches in 50 overs World Cup and five matches including a bowl-out in T20 World Cup.

Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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PCB Summons Misbah-Ul-Haq, Babar Azam And Azhar Ali After Their Meeting With Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is disappointed with the meeting among head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, white-ball captain Babar Azam and Test skipper Azhar Ali with Prime Minister Imran Khan over restoring departmental teams in domestic cricket. For which, the board has summoned the trio on Monday.

According to Outlook, a source closed to the players informed that PCB CEO Wasim Khan will meet them to reprimand for approaching the Prime Minister of Pakistan over the board’s policy decision.

Misbah, Azhar and Hafeez were called for a meeting by Imran Khan earlier this month after they requested his time to discuss the problems being faced by cricketers around the country due to the closure of departmental teams in domestic cricket.

Why is PCB unhappy with Misbah, Azhar and Babar?

Misbah-ul-Haq,
Misbah-ul-Haq. Photo Credit: PCB.

Well, surprisingly, that meeting was also attended by PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, CEO Wasim Khan. So why the PCB is showing their displeasure is the question. The source even stated that they were already informed that the trio will discuss the domestic cricket issue.

“Due to closure of departmental cricket, The trio had time and again made it clear to the board officials they were not in favour of the scrapping of departmental teams in domestic cricket,” the source said.

“How is it possible that the Prime Minister who is patron in chief of the board would agree to meet with Misbah and company without first the board being made aware of this and secondly how did the two senior PCB officials also attend the meeting?” the source questioned.

babar azam
Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

However, Imran Khan rejected their request on any changes in the policy. He made it clear that the new system of having just six provincial first-class teams would continue and needed to be given time to bear results.

ICC, ZC
Zimbabwe men's cricket team (Image Credit: Google)
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Zimbabwe Government Has Approved National Team’s Tour Of Pakistan

The Zimbabwe Government has allowed Zimbabwe cricket to participate in the proposed tour of Pakistan that has been scheduled for October-November. The white ball tour will see the two sides facing off in three one-day international (ODI) matches and as many Twenty-20 international (T20I) games.

The ODI series which will be played in Pakistan, and will be a part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is drafted in for 30 October and 1 and 3 November. The T20I matches are scheduled for 7, 8 and 10 November.

Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Cricket, Zimbabwe's 2020 Tour to India
ZCT (Image Credit: Google)

Zimbabwe government approves their tour of Pakistan

The government of Zimbabwe has approved their proposed tour of Pakistan to play a white ball series, slated in October-November.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission hereby gives you notice, following your application, that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has approved your request to play the referenced matches,” read the letter from  Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) Director General Prince Mupazviriho.

Zimbabwe Cricket, SRC
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Zimbabwe Cricket extend gratitude to the Government and are excited to participate in the Pakistan tour

The ZC chairman Tavenga Mukuhlani has extended gratitude on behalf of the team to the Government of Zimbabwe for authorising their tour. He also expressed they are excited to play against Pakistan in the series.

“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, the Honourable Kirsty Coventry, the SRC and the entire Government of Zimbabwe for authorising the tour,” ZC Chairman Tavenga Mukuhlani  said.

“Needless to say, we at ZC are bursting with excitement as we look forward to playing cricket again and representing our nation with pride and passion in Pakistan.”

Zimbabwe had called up a provisional squad of  25, for a training camp in Harare starting on Tuesday,
ahead of their proposed white ball series tour to Pakistan.

Zimbabwe’s training squad for Pakistan Tour:

Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Luke Jongwe, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Peter Moor, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams

Asia Cup 2021 To Be Hosted In Sri Lanka; Pakistan Have The Rights For 2022, Says PCB CEO Wasim Khan
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia, England And New Zealand To Tour Pakistan In Next Two Years: PCB CEO Wasim Khan

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan has said that three big countries England, Australia and New Zealand have given a confirmation on touring Pakistan in next 24 months. Indeed, it is some news for Pakistan because hosting the series of these nations will prove to be a big step for bringing international cricket back home.

Pakistan was seen as the dangerous country after Sri Lanka’s team bus was attacked at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk in 2009. All the teams have scrapped their plan of touring Pakistan to play cricket in the recent past. As a result, United Arab Emirates (UAE) had become their adopted home.

Pakistan
Pakistan team. (Credits: Twitter)

But last year, they were successful in convincing the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to send their cricketer to play Test and T20I series. Without any halt, Pakistan hosted a series against Sri Lanka. It was a significant development in Pakistan cricket as they hosted the Test series in the home ground after 10 years.

Now, PCB is ready to take a big step forward by hosting series against the three nations in 2021 and 2022. The board CEO Wasim Khan has said that as long as the health situation in the world allows, three of the top four teams in Test cricket will come and play in Pakistan.

“These teams [England, Australia and New Zealand] have already confirmed that they will tour Pakistan in 2021 and 2022. Depending on the [global health crisis] situation, the coming years will see regular international cricket activities in Pakistan,” Wasim Khan said, as quoted by geosuper.tv.

Earlier this year, PCB’s chairman Ehsan Mani affirmed that Pakistan is a safe place to host cricket now.

Pakistan expected to host Zimbabwe and South Africa:

Pakistan cricket fans
Pakistan cricket fans. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Notably, before the three major nations, Zimbabwe is expected to tour Pakistan in November this year to play 3 T20Is in Rawalpindi and 3 ODIs in Multan. Pakistan has also roped in South Africa as a touring party for January next year to play two Tests and 3 T20Is. PCB will also host Pakistan Super League (PSL) next year.

Ehsan Mani, PCB, India vs Pakistan series
Ehsan Mani. Image Credit: Getty Images
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India Will Have To Sort Out Political Relation Before Playing Bilateral Series Against Pakistan: PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has opined that India and Pakistan will only be able to play the bilateral series until they resolve tensed political relations.

The political tension between the two neighbouring countries flared up after the terror attack in Mumbai’s taj Hotel. Since then, there have been many incidents which have erupted in borders of India and Pakistan. As a result, it had affected the game of cricket between the two countries.

Ehsan Mani
India vs Pakistan. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ehsan Mani said that the Pakistan Cricket Board had a discussion with BCCI for resuming the cricket activities between the two countries but nothing has turned out in their favour. He added that they will only be able to play the bilateral series when two countries resolve political tensions. 

“Over the years, the PCB has had a number of discussions with the BCCI regarding bilateral cricket. Whether it is T20 cricket or bilateral, all things are in the hands of the BCCI. At this moment I don’t have any intention of playing any T20 league with India. First, they have to sort out the bilateral political) relations with us, and then we will talk,” Mani told IANS.

Ehsan Mani believes ICC need to interfere

India vs Pakistan bilateral series
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ehsan Mani has cleared that he will not urge the Indian board to plan a bilateral series. He believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to interfere in this matter because BCCI relies on the Indian government for the permission of hosting the series against Pakistan. 

“I am not talking to the BCCI about bilateral cricket. It is up to them to speak to us if they have something to say. The ICC (International Cricket Council) constitution says there should be no government interference. So, I think ICC should be talking to them [BCCI],” Ehsan Mani added. 

India and Pakistan have not played the Test series for more than 14 years. As far as bilateral series in ODIs and T20Is are concerned, it has been over eight years. While they face off each other during ICC events and Asia Cup

Yasir Arafat
Image Credits: Cricket Country
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Yasir Arafat Accuses Pakistan Cricket of Favouritism

Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat has accused Pakistan cricket of favouritism and has stated incidents which support his allegations. It is not the first time when Pakistan cricket is being accused of so. Previously, Pakistani off-spinner Danish Kaneria, who is serving a life ban has accused the PCB of not treating him the same as others.

Arafat made his debut for Pakistan in 2000 and went on to make three Tests appearances, 11 One-day Internationals, and 13 T20Is. He has accused the management of giving chances to certain undeserving cricketers by overlooking on talented players.

Pakistan, T20I squad, Test squad
Pakistan national cricket team (Image Credit|: Google)

Yasir Arafat shares incidents of favouritism in the Pakistan team

The former Pakistani cricketer has shared his eye-witnessed tales of favouritism in the Pakistan cricket team. He said the atmosphere in the team was very unwelcoming when he made his debut back in 2000.

“When I made my debut in 2000, we had come after playing the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka. The Pakistan senior team had come back from Australia at the time and there were a lot of changes being made. They had dropped 5-6 players due to the bad performance,” he told Kamran Akmal’s Youtube channel.

Yasir Arafat
Image credits: Cric shots

“Even the captaincy, I think, Wasim Akram was doing it (Saeed Anwar was the captain). In that match Younis Khan and another batsman Imran Abbas also made their debuts. The atmosphere was such, and the senior players had such an attitude that you would feel that you are unwelcome in the team,” he added.

“It felt like an alien atmosphere” Yasir Arafat on Pakistan cricket team

Arafat mentioned his suffering in the Pakistan team where it was an alien atmosphere he reckoned.  The Pakistan management fast-tracked based on liking, even when the players were under-performing, and in doing so many talented players didn’t get a chance. He gave examples of Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, who were the best all-rounders of the time, being unavailable and still players being fast-tracked on the basis of liking.

“It felt like an alien atmosphere where, if you need to perform, you needed to do it all by yourself and you won’t get any support at all. As far as Pakistan cricket is concerned, we haven’t had better all-rounders than Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood.” said Yasir Arafat

 ” But even when they were not there, other cricketers were fast-tracked based on someone’s liking, someone who had played two matches of first-class cricket or not played at all. I didn’t understand why I was not in their good books.” he concluded

Yasir Arafat claimed a total of 29 wickets and scored 390 runs across all formats in his international career, which came to an end against India in the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka

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