Former greats fear for future of cricket in Pakistan

Karachi: Two of Pakistan`s former captains expressed fear on Tuesday for the future of cricket in the country following the national team`s poor performances in England.

"Our cricket is already facing problems due to the security situation keeping away teams from touring Pakistan, we can`t afford such shoddy performances," former captain Zaheer Abbas told Reuters.

"Cricket took a dip in Pakistan because of the refusal of teams to tour Pakistan but if we continue to perform like this at neutral venues or abroad then I fear people will lose total interest in cricket."

Pakistan have had to play matches at neutral venues since a militant attack in March last year when Sri Lanka`s team bus and that of the match officials were attacked by gunmen.

The Pakistan team presently touring England have lost three out of four Test matches against Australia and England.

The criticism over the team`s performance has come after they lost the first Test to England last week by 354 runs and suffered a nine-wicket defeat on Monday at Edgbaston.

"If this is the way our team continues to perform, then perhaps it is best the cricket authorities should decide against playing Test cricket," former captain Moin Khan said.

The criticism has grown as the team has twice been bowled out for low scores of 80 and 72 against England in the absence of senior players like Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf.

"Apart from the players, I also blame the management for this situation, it is disappointing that Pakistan cricket should fall to such depths," added Moin.

"The team is struggling because of petty issues. Younus Khan is not in the team because of the ego problems within the board. It is no use playing Test cricket in this fashion, it is embarrassing."

In an unusual move on Tuesday, the Karachi City Cricket Association, the country`s biggest and most influential cricket association, passed a resolution at its executive council meeting deploring the team`s performances.

"The association is concerned at the pathetic performances of the team in England only because the Pakistan board and national selection committee has failed to pick a representative team capable of defending Pakistan`s prestige and image," it said in a statement.

Bureau Report