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Agencies
April 7, 2020

Young players key to winning big tournaments: Waqar

Sports

A
Agencies
April 7, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis on Monday said that their team has performed well in major ICC tournaments whenever there was a blend of youngsters and senior players in the side.

“Pick any past major tournament. Look at the [1992] World Cup and [2017] Champions Trophy. There were either youngsters or a blend of rookie and senior players in the team when Pakistan performed well,” Waqar said, while talking to the media during a video conference arranged by the PCB.

“I have always supported the idea that youngsters should be kept indulged,” he said. Coming into the squad as bowling coach after two stints as head coach, Waqar was forced to work with an inexperienced bowling line up during Pakistan’s tour of Australia last year.

Imran Khan, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi did pace duty in the first Test in Brisbane, while Mohammad Abbas and Muhammad Musa replacing Imran and Yasir Shah in the second Test in Adelaide, both of which Australia won by an innings.

“There is big talent out there and each one is skillful and they all have a role going forward somewhere in the near future,” he said “It’s not like they will start doing wonders at once. These young boys need to be blended with the experienced guys. You cannot buy experience overnight - it comes with age - and I am sure these young boys have the knack and each one has the aptitude to serve Pakistan for at least eight to ten years,” added Waqar, widely regarded among the most lethal pace bowlers to have played the game.

He also disagreed with the remarks made by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting that Musa was handed an international debut a little too early. “We know our bowlers better. I think it was the right time to expose him,” Waqar said.

Cricket around the world has come to an indefinite halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic and players have been reduced to trying to stay fit at home. For Waqar, it’s a difficult time but an opportunity for the players to utilise their time well.

When asked if he was worried about the lengthy layoff, he said: “It depends how lengthy this will go on... if it’s a shorter one with another one or two months and things start to get normal then it won’t hurt.”

“We just finished PSL and boys had been on the run since the Australia tour until last month. So it’s just a couple of weeks so far and nobody will forget the basics of the game. But I will probably start to get worried after Ramzan and Eid [April-May], and if it goes further then that’s where I am afraid things will start to go out of hands not for us but for the entire [cricketing] world,” he added.