Lahore: Pakistan will follow the Australian model in revamping their cricket set-up following the recent defeat at the hands of England, the country's cricket chief has said."After losing to England, a second-rated team, Pakistan have become a third-rated team and we now have to do a lot of spade work to bring the team back on track," Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia said on Friday.Pakistan have lost four home series in two years. Their recent 0-1 loss against England sparked stinging criticism of the Board, captain Moin Khan and the whole team."The Australian Board are ideally organised and that's why their team has been having an imperious run with 13 straight wins in Tests," Zia told reporters.Zia, a former club cricketer, was appointed head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in December last year after the military coup that ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif."The pressure of home series losses has restricted the progress of our cricket which boasts enormous talent," he said. "I have asked captain Moin Khan to analyse his captainship and England's Nasser Hussain's captainship and he is a fighter and can learn from mistakes."Hussain capped a fine year for England cricket by leading the first English side to beat Pakistan in their own country since 1962. England also won a two-Test series against Zimbabwe and beat West Indies 3-1 at home, their first win over a team from the Caribbean for 31 years."We have planned a comprehensive programme which we have named Vision 2000 under which we want to do repair work and bring back this team in the top three," Zia said.Pakistan plan to hire the services of former England opener Geoff Boycott and South African allrounder Pat Symcox for their academy. "Pakistan's first national academy will be set up in Lahore by August next year and from there we will have a good outlet of players," Zia said.He said his Board's major achievement was to cleanse the game of match-fixing. "We have eradicated this malpractice by publishing Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyam's report and penalising the players," he said.The PCB implemented the recommendations in Qayyam's report, banning former captain Salim Malik and pace bowler Ataur Rehman for life and fining six others including Wasim Akram.
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Copyright AFP 2000