Lahore: Pakistan’s cricket team’s head coach Waqar Younis has called for a quick decision on the spot-fixing allegations surrounding some leading national cricketers.
“We need a clear picture so that whoever is eligible to play for Pakistan can then just focus on the job ahead,” the Daily Times quoted Waqar, as saying.
The spot-fixing allegations surrounding the tainted trio- Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif- were a distraction to the 2011 World Cup preparations, he added.
Other senior players- Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved and Danish Kaneria- are also in doubt for the mega event, with reports suggesting that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not yet given the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) clearance to consider them for the World Cup selection.
But Waqar refused to agree with former captain Imran Khan’s assessment that Pakistan required the services of Aamir and Asif, “arguably the best opening pair of bowlers”, in the World Cup.
“I hope they are available but in cricket, no one is irreplaceable. Players come and go and that is the way the sport goes on. We have a lot of talent in Pakistan cricket and even if these players are not available, it will not affect our World Cup preparations or campaign,” he maintained.
Waqar also disagreed with one-day captain Shahid Afridi’s views that Pakistan’s World Cup preparations were not on track, saying, “No, I think our preparations are going well and we should be well prepared for the mega event. I think this tour to New Zealand will be very important in our preparations for the World Cup as it will allow us to settle on a combination for the mega tournament.”
The head coach also supported the PCB’s decision to induct former captain Javed Miandad into the training camp as a batting consultant.
“I think Miandad’s greatness as a player is undisputed and his presence will help the players a lot. He can help us prepare for the New Zealand tour very well,” said Waqar.