Pakistan News July 20, 2010

Fast bowlers at risk - Imran Khan

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan great Imran Khan has said he's concerned the sheer volume of international cricket is putting unprecedented stress on fast bowlers, and suggested doing away with one-day cricket to ensure quick bowlers don't go "the way of the dinosaurs."

"Maybe we should eliminate 50-over cricket and just have Twenty20 cricket and Test cricket," Imran said while giving the annual Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's on Monday."The stress on fast bowlers is incredible. But cricket without fast bowling is never going to be the same standard if a batsman doesn't test himself against fast bowling.

"I saw Shaun Tait bowl in the Twenty20s and I thought an alien had come in -- you suddenly saw batsmen hopping about."

Tait is one of the world's few bowlers with extreme pace but he has not played Test cricket since 2007, and retired from the first-class game in 2008 to prolong his career. He has repeatedly said the the rigours of the longer format are too much for his body and that he can only play limited-overs cricket.

The 57-year-old Imran watched Pakistan lose to Australia by 150 runs in the first of their two-Test series, and said Shahid Afridi is the perfect example of a talented cricketer who can thrive in Twenty20 cricket, but struggles in Test cricket.

"The only test of a cricketer is the Test match because his talent and technique is tested. In Twenty20, if you are very talented you can get away with it, but a good Twenty20 cricketer will not necessarily excel in Test cricket."

Following the loss to Australia, Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from Test cricket after a solitary game as Pakistan captain.

Imran, who led Pakistan during their high-intensity battles with the mighty West Indies sides in the 1980s, also said the standard of Test cricket has dropped over the years. "I don't believe Test cricket is the same standard as before," he said. However, he thinks the level of officiating has improved immensely since he played, and that technology will only help it get better. Imran was among those who championed the introduction of neutral umpires.

"The spirit of the game suffered while I was playing. There was a lot of acrimony in the games and when India played against Pakistan. It deteriorated to depths you cannot imagine. Neutral umpires have changed everything, technology has eliminated so many of the controversies and results are much fairer now. I think it should improve further with the use of technology."

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  • Huzaifah on July 26, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    I respect whatever Imran Khan has to say on matters related to cricket but on his suggestion for the 50 over format to be scrapped I beg to differ. It is not the format of cricket that needs to be managed, albeit, it is the job of the think tank to manage their FAST bowlers, of which admittedly there are few. Here is where strategy and rotation policy can employed in order to manage the work load of bowlers. Its not necessary for fast bowlers to play every game for their country. Thats my point of view.

  • Tansah on July 26, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    ODIs and T20s do NOT test ability in the same way as Test matches do. In limited-over form, just hit a few for six and everyone's happy. That is not sport. Bowlers get wickets cos' batsmen try to whack them for six and everyone think bowlers are good. That's not the case. Test matches is about stamina, mental strength, fitness, and the ability to perform consistently. That IS sport. Fast bowlers can't be good for ages these days cos' they are obsessed with ODIs and T20s, and cannot play Tests with the same level of being good and accurate. Khan is correct. More Test matches will do cricket some good.

  • Suleman on July 25, 2010, 0:44 GMT

    When the current generation of test cricket supporters die off, this form of the game will linger and die off . Market forces decide will determine this. The current generation of youngsters are being brought up with T20 and this is where the demand will be in the future - from both spectators and players.

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    I played 13 years first-class cricket/minor county and league.I never had a big injury because we used to do simple excersis we used to walk/jog/run and strech.We come early and last one to go.Its all up to you how you want too.Mr.Imran Khan the way he used to work.They should the same way.Now a days so much money involved everybody look for short cut.Mentelilty should be changed.Our cricketer don't take advice from former cricketer once they become a test cricketer.They only counts money and benefits.We should have a simple system to follow.And also give encouragement to speak in our launguage for interview why they have speak in English.We should prepare for all formats of game.We don't want to get isolated.Pakistan cricket need domastic and international cricket and stop blaming each others.Lets we all think about PAKISTAN.Without the nation we are nothing.Give a respect to former cricketer so they can help pakistan cricket.Just we all have go to BASIC where sportsman come from.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Infact Imran Khan is seriously criticising on ICC. there is no cricket but money.

  • raheel on July 21, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    How lucky India is;) no fast bowler in their side......

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    Playing for Passion is gone. Love for Money is everywhere in Cricket.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    i didn't read the full article but this is stupid..... how much is pakistan playing?? they are seriously in need of long tours as they have had alomst none for the past two years or so... in those years we have fallen behind and the batsmen are in no form whatsoever... we need more and more cricket... look at anyother nation... they are playing like ten times more... he should have said that our bowlers need to get fitter...

  • Prashant on July 20, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Test match will always remain the main course.

  • Syed Zahir on July 20, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    well that depends on team and player himself that how he needs to be treated, Tait find it better to only play limited overs and he is doing good. By the way I am quite surprised to see that he didn't speak anything about Pakistan cricket

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