Waqar urges PCB chief to get foreign teams to tour Pakistan

Karachi: Former Pakistan coach and captain, Waqar Younis has urged the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf to give priority to the resumption of international cricket in the country.

Waqar said although he doesn`t know the new chairman, he would urge him to focus on the issue, which is hurting the progress and development of the Pakistani cricketers.

"Getting foreign teams to tour Pakistan and ensuring resumption of international cricket in the country should be given top priority by Zaka Ashraf because international games not being played here is hurting our national team and the upcoming players," Waqar told Geo News.

"I fear for the future of Pakistan cricket because you need to have international matches in the country to keep the sport moving forward. Our youngsters are also unable to get proper opportunities to move forward," he added.

No foreign teams have toured Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

Pakistani team since then has been forced to play all of its "home" series at neutral venues, making the United Arab Emirate states of Dubai and Abu Dhabi virtually their second home.

Pakistan are currently also playing their "home" series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

Waqar also felt that in the selection of national team`s new head coach, the board should ensure that the candidate understands Pakistan cricket and is committed towards it.

"I don`t think it matters whether we have a foreign coach or local coach, what matters is whosoever comes in must know Pakistan cricket and have pain for Pakistan cricket. He should be completely committed to Pakistan cricket," he insisted.

The position of coach of the national team has remained vacant after Waqar resigned from the post due to personal and health reasons after the tour of Zimbabwe in September.

"The board must look at someone who is comfortable and can have good communication with the players and can get them to perform positively."

Meanwhile, a debate has started in Pakistan cricket community over Waqar`s new job as commentator and expert in the ongoing Pakistan and Sri Lanka series in Abu Dhabi.

Waqar`s present job has raised questions over the reasons he cited for stepping down as Pakistan coach after having a successful stint with the team.

"He resigned citing personal and health reasons. There was talk about him requiring urgent long term treatment for an illness but then how come he is in Abu Dhabi for the series? It does raise questions?," a former Test player, Iqbal Qasim, said.


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