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August 10, 2010
Zaheer Abbas, the former Pakistan captain, has said he fears for the future of Pakistan cricket due to what he feels is its poor administration. Abbas' comments came in the aftermath of Pakistan's nine-wicket defeat at the hands of England in the second Test at Edgbaston.
"Winning and losing are part of the game but I fear for Pakistan cricket because the manner in which matters like transformation of the team have been handled [shows] we are heading towards disaster," Abbas told AFP. "Decisions [are] taken in a haphazard manner and the state of Pakistan cricket is deplorable. The main culprit is the administration, which should be changed immediately."
Pakistan have a new captain in Salman Butt, who took over when Shahid Afridi quit following the first Test against Australia. The team is in a transition phase after the ban and the subsequent reinstatement of several of their experienced players but Abbas was particularly critical of the recall of Mohammad Yousuf from retirement instead of Younis Khan.
"Yousuf announced his retirement and suddenly he was sent to England. How come Yousuf is in the team now and Younis Khan not selected, this is a different set of rules for two players," he said. "How far can this go? Cricket is a passion in Pakistan and people are getting disheartened by the poor administration of the game."
Yousuf and Younis were handed indefinite bans by the PCB for disciplinary reasons following a winless tour of Australia earlier in the year. Yousuf decided to retire from international cricket while Younis fought against the ban and had it overturned. The players had been accused of creating infighting and having a bad influence over the team.
"Where was the team management and the administration when seven, eight players took oath on the holy book (the Koran) and revolted against captaincy of Younis," Abbas said. "Younis should have been sent to England so that a mixture of youth and seniors would have guided this team. These young players are Pakistan's future, but I am sorry their handling is very poor."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?