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January 14, 2021

Waqar satisfied with fast bowlers’ performance


January 14, 2021

LAHORE: Bowling coach Waqar Younis has expressed his satisfaction over the performance of fast bowlers during the Test series against New Zealand which Pakistan lost 2-0.

Talking to media at a press conference here on Wednesday, he claimed that the team was on the right track. Like head coach Misbahul Haq, he also blamed the circumstances caused by COVID-19 for the defeats.

He said the health protocols hampered their campaign and preparation for the series in New Zealand.

Waqar said that the tour of New Zealand was difficult. “We played well in the first Test but we didn’t play well in the second Test and we didn’t get the performance we wanted,” he said. “A 14-day quarantine is not easy. But still bowlers did well,” the 49-year-old former toe crusher said.

“In the second match we dropped catches and had the problem of no balls. We will perform well against South Africa. We will keep making progress,” said Waqar.

The legendary pacer also backed young fast bowler Naseem Shah despite a below-par New Zealand tour. “Naseem has performed well at home and has also taken a hat-trick. He is learning fast. Other bowlers have also had massive improvements despite the epidemic,” he said.

“We try to prepare the players for the tough circumstances of Test cricket but the conditions did not allow us to fully prepare them,” he added.

He also talked about what happened during the cricket committee meeting the other day. “Talking to the cricket committee was reassuring. The former cricketers asked questions and we discussed all matters. These meetings should be a constant feature,” he said.

The bowling coach further said that he cannot comment on the rubber stamp status of the cricket committee but he would definitely say that the meeting of the cricket committee was very good.

The former pacer revealed that he was saddened by the way fast bowler Mohammad Amir had left international cricket.

Waqar said that Aamir’s statements hurt him a lot. “He is a great cricketer, I fought to bring him back, fought with Najam Sethi and talked to the players to give him a chance.

“I was one of those individuals who were in favour of Amir’s comeback into the side. Now the situation is saddening. If you aren’t in form, then you try to come back into it. I was saddened with the way Amir left cricket,” he added.

Waqar said of the critics, “What can I say about anyone who has spoken, not being a coach, not being a commentator and not coaching the school, I’m not sad about who said what, I’m not worried.”

He said that he had not left the team and had not met his family for seven months. “I didn’t see my family for the last seven months and got permission from the cricket board to spend time with my family,” Waqar said.