Waqar predicts tough times for world cricket

April 07, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fast bowling coach Waqar Younis has predicted tough months ahead for world cricket, saying cancellation of the English summer — including the Pakistan Test series...

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fast bowling coach Waqar Younis has predicted tough months ahead for world cricket, saying cancellation of the English summer — including the Pakistan Test series — would be a big blow to his team’s efforts to raise a strong outfit.

Talking to the print media through video link from Australia, Waqar said sports would likely require another four to six months to get back to normal. “Sports are among the worst hit areas from COVID-19 and I think it will take another four to six months to see life returning back to normal. Till that time all talk of closed door cricket or starting any tournament is like putting lives of players and fans at risk. The whole humanity is going through such a torrid time that taking any undue risk will be fatal and can prove counterproductive.”

The fast bowling coach feared the pandemic could disturb the English summer including the much-awaited Pakistan Test series in July. “We had a plan to give our team a competitive look. The England series was to kick-start that effort. But we may not see the English summer going ahead.

“In that case, our cricket will be worst hit as barring one odd occasion in the recent past; Pakistan had performed brilliantly in England. We have that quality that could have given us expected results in England this summer too,” he said.

Waqar said Almighty Allah forbid, if the pandemic does not end for another few months, other options would be considered. “Sports, including cricket, behind closed doors could be an option. At this point the pandemic is just going up rather than dying down. So speaking about alternate plans would not be a realistic option.”

To a question about the possible ill effects of the virus on athletes/players who are forced to stay home, Waqar said a couple of months’ off hardly makes any difference. “But when the break gets longer the problem starts. Surely, ground training makes a difference and all athletes must be missing that. We all should pray for early resumption of on-field activities.”

Waqar said he has already planned to shift to Pakistan and help the Pakistan Cricket Board in its other development programmes. “My family and I would have shifted to Pakistan by now but everything has changed now. Let’s wait for better days when life gets back to normal.

“Among my aims, I also plan to start charity work and extend help to Prime Minister Imran Khan in his efforts to improve the plight of masses.”

He expressed concern over the unfinished Pakistan Super League, saying its success was caught by an evil eye. “The PSL was one of the best I have ever seen or participated in. It had all the ingredients to be ranked amongst the best. But it caught an evil eye. Crowd interest, pitches and players’ interest was something amazing. I can’t find a single fault in it. I hope and predict next year’s PSL will reach a new level. Nowhere in the world have foreign players got such a welcome. PSL V indeed set new standards for others to follow.”



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