Embattled Pakistan return home to quiet reception

London: Coach Waqar Younis stressed the need to educate Pakistan`s players in avoiding controversy after his embattled team arrived home from their tour of England to a quiet reception in the early hours of Friday.

Pakistan lost the Test, Twenty20 and one-day series to England and the team was rocked by allegations of fixing parts of matches against some of its players.

Test captain, Salman Butt and pace bowlers, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz were all questioned by Scotland yard over the allegations with the first three also suspended by the International Cricket Council after the News of the World newspaper broke a story on August 28 that the players had deliberately bowled no balls in the fourth Test against England at Lords.

Waqar told reporters at Lahore airport that the Pakistan Cricket Board needed to start educating players from the under-17 and under-19 age groups on how to conduct themselves while in the senior national team.

"We need to educate our players on how to carry themselves, on how to avoid controversies and not get entangled with shady characters," he said.

Waqar said the tour had been a testing and difficult one for him and his team.

"It was not an easy tour at all in cricketing terms and also because of the off the field controversies. But we have learnt a lot from it," he said.

The former Test captain said that the team had done well to win matches in difficult circumstances but there was still a need for the selectors and coaching staff to reassess the team.

"Hopefully before our next series against South Africa we will know the fate of the three players and the situation would be clearer, but we need more young blood for the team," he said.

Pakistan play a Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.

Bureau Report