Lahore: Former skipper Muhammad Yousuf and current Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq don`t see eye to eye over the subject of the importance and impact of Twenty20 internationals on young cricketers.
While Yousuf told reporters in Lahore on Wednesday that young players need to stay away from the fastest format of cricket, Misbah feels T20 cricket was a reality that was here to stay in international cricket.
"I would advise young players in particular to stay away from T20 cricket because it does not allow them to develop or improve as proper cricketers," Yousuf said.
"The T20 format is such that there is no room for youngsters to improve or learn to play better cricket. To me it does not represent serious cricket," said Yousuf, who played 90 Tests and 288 ODIs but has featured in just three T20 matches for Pakistan.
Yousuf said he was concerned over the growing importance being given to T20 cricket in many countries and pointed out it was already affecting the careers of many players and forcing them to choose between cash and country.
He also advised the Pakistan board to just have one major domestic T20 event as it was popular with the people but said that should be the only T20 event in Pakistan. Yousuf, who has not played for Pakistan since last November when he featured against South Africa in a one-day international in the UAE, felt that T20 didn`t produce quality competition like Test cricket or one-day internationals.
However, Misbah, who has played 37 T20 internationals till now and even at 37 is still going strong in all three formats of the sport, told reporters that T20 cricket was essential for the better future of the sport.
"I would say that T20 cricket is here to stay because it is a huge entertainment for the people and television audiences and sports is supposed to entertain people," Misbah said.
He said that players just needed to adjust themselves to the different format and pace of the game.
"Any good player can do that and I think all three formats can co-exist together without any problems," he added.