The former Pakistani cricketer, and the current bowling coach of Pakistan Cricket Team, Waqar Younis, has taken a grudge at Wahab Raiz and Mohammad Amir and ditched them for their early retirement from red-ball cricket.
“Just before the Australia series, they ditched us, and we had the only choice to pick youngsters,” Younis told presspersons during a video conference arranged by the PCB. “We were the new management and decided to go on with taking in the younger lot and groom them. Misbah [-ul-Haq, the head coach and chief selector] spoke about this earlier about having a policy about players deciding what and what not to play.
“We cannot control players’ choice on what they want to play, but then there should be a mechanism, so we all are on board. It never should be like players leaving last moment and not keeping anyone in the loop or giving enough time for back up.”
Waqar Younis dragged the matter of Wahab and Amir, saying that they left us at the time when they were needed the most. The management after the retirement of Azhar Ali and Mickey Arthur was new and was left with an inexperienced bowling side for Australia’s test.
“It’s not like I am saying we could have won in Australia, but we could have done better than what we have done,” Younis said. “But now we have a bench, and we are building it up and expanding it so that we cannot face any problem going forward. I know, and you know that there are so many leagues around the world and these boys want to play it. It is just four overs and takes the money, and they remain in their comfort as well, which sometimes damages the country.
Amir took an indefinite break from test cricket to focus more on white-ball cricket. His decision was highly criticized by Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, and Shoaib Akhtar. Later, his mate, Wahab, joint him in the race and demanding PCB for retirement.
“It’s not like we have lost a lot, but yes, they left us at the wrong time. But anyway, we don’t have any grudge against them. I still feel they have a lot to contribute to white-ball cricket, and they should carry on playing for Pakistan. But we have got a lot of fast bowlers now. From PSL, we have seen so much potential. There is big talent out there, and each one is skillful, and they all have a role going forward somewhere shortly. It’s not like they will start doing wonders at once. These young boys need to be blended with the experienced guys. You cannot buy experience overnight – it comes with age – and I am sure these young boys have the knack, and each one has the aptitude to serve Pakistan for at least eight to ten years.”
He pointed out indirectly that it hurts to know when one plays for money but not for the country.
Moving ahead, he also reminded the world that he could have shown miserable life to Indian skipper Virat Kohli if he ever had got a chance to bowl him. Younis praised his abilities of bowling and said that there were better players than Kohli in the 1900s as well.
The 48-year-old got no chill, and in a longer video, he added all of the fumings of his hearts. According to him, the excessive gym was the main reason behind Hassan Ali’s injury.
“As far as I know, I don’t think any such thing [injury from excessive gym work] happened. Hasan Ali was injured while bowling,” he said. “I don’t think we need to panic over his injury because fast-bowler tend to get injured. I remember Wasim Akram missing a major chunk of the year, during the 1990s, due to groin injury. I also suffered major back injury [while I was playing].”
“These injuries show your character, and we just need to stay strong and positive. I think he [Hasan Ali] will be fit to play soon,” he added.
Younis also discussed COVID-19 disruptions that have costed an adverse to cricketing bodies. He advised players to maintain momentum in their health at home. The board has also given them a structured diet plan to follow at home.
“But still we have given them [players] a structure to follow whatever they can do is at home—especially the things which can keep them geared up and motivated. Everyone around the world is in the same boat, and problems are nearly the same for all of us. So, to be honest, I am not worried at the moment. We just finished PSL, and boys had been on the run since the Australia tour until last month. So it’s just a couple of weeks so far, and nobody will forget the basics of the game. But I will probably start to get worried after Ramzan and Eid [April-May], and if it goes further, then that’s where I am afraid things will start to go out of hands not for us but the entire [cricketing] world.”
“This is the time we can still utilize for good reasons,” Younis said. “These days, cricket doesn’t have gaps in between, so this is the time a player can use to spend time with family and recharge his body. There are times when you want to go far away from playing cricket and need a break, so just take it that way and relax. I love watching the boys challenging each other on social media on fitness and having a good time. Of course, it is not the same [when you have a more extended break]; you have to be in your groove when it is time.
“You can’t have that until or unless you go out on the ground. If you don’t work on your skill set, it is going to impede your growth, and you will go on the back foot. Everyone will have an impact. Not only players but coaches will also face the challenge, but I am very much hope that this all will end up soon, and things once again will start marching towards normalcy.”