Shoaib urges PCB to improve domestic structure
06 July, 2012
LAHORE: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should not beg other cricket playing nations to come to Pakistan and help reviving cricket here rather the board should improve its domestic structure and utilise its assets to generate finance to boost first class cricket.
Talking to The Nation exclusively, Shoaib Akhtar said: “The PCB chief should forget about revival of cricket in the country rather he should generate funds by utilizing its assets to make the board financially strong and then improve its domestic structure by investing a big amount on its first class cricketers so that they may earn millions in their domestic cricket.
This will surely boost the players' morale and performance and help producing a great number of brilliant players who will help earning good name for the country.”
He added that this step would help strengthen the domestic structure and when a board has the best domestic structure, it has ample number of world's best players who can represent the country at international level and can bring laurels for the country.
Lashing out at the board he said that what was the purpose of big buildings which the board owned?
“The PCB should use its building for commercial purpose and generate money from there and then utilize these funds on domestic structure in a transparent way.”
Citing example of Cricket South African, the fast bowler said that when Proteas were banned by International Cricket Council (ICC), they never thought about revival of cricket but stressed upon strengthening their domestic structure and gradually, they build it and the best of proof that was when they returned to international cricket, they qualified for the World Cup semi-final. What is the comparison between domestic level team and international level team but the Proteas proved that they focussed on domestic cricket and made it one of the bests.
Commenting on revival of cricket in the country, Akhtar said: “We should forget about cricket revival in Pakistan for time being as it is not the proper time to invite any foreign team.
We should wait for the right time as the security situation here is not up to the mark and if God forbid any mishap happens, it will throw us far behind and as we are already isolated from international cricket so this would add fuel to the fire and we will be totally isolated which is very dangerous for our cricket. So it is better to stay away and wait for the right time instead of taking risk,” he claimed
Talking about T20 format, Akhtar said that Twenty20 cricket had caused immense damage to Pakistani cricketers and affected their techniques and posing fitness probelsm to them.
“I think Twenty20 cricket has not been good for our players and their techniques have been affected to larger extent and excess of T20 playing is also posing fitness issues for them,” he said.
He said he would advise players to focus on one-day and Test cricket despite the lure of money in Twenty20 cricket. “I know there is a lot of money involved for players in the shorter form but I would advise them to focus on one-day and Tests because that is the real test for a cricketer and improves their fitness and techniques,” he added.
Appreciating the positive steps by Coca Cola International, he said that the company showed their commandment to promote street cricket to maximum and bring it to national and then international level.
“I want to return to my country what it gave me. I want to serve the game in Pakistan because we have a lot of talent in the street.”
“I am hopeful that through this Sprite Cricket Next campaign, I will surely find out some very talented and brilliant fast blowers across the country and by training them well, I will make them able to represent the country at national and international level and they will surely prove their mettle and earn good name for the country,” he concluded.