First time in my career, I see scarcity of talent: Akram
Published: Saturday, March 8, 2003, 23:46 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Akram not to quit, says its in 'best national interest'
Johannesburg: Pace legend Wasim Akram said on Saturday he has deep-seated fears for the future of cricket in Pakistan following the disastrous World Cup campaign which ended in the first round. "We have been losing non-stop since August 2002 and, for the first time in my career, I see a paucity of talent in the country," the 36-year-old said. "There were times when Waqar Younis would sit to pick the team in consultation with some of us seniors, and we would be hard put to find 11 players since everyone was going through a lean patch." In its six games in South Africa, Pakistan lost to Australia, England and India, suffered a washout in Zimbabwe and managed just two wins against minnows the Netherlands and Namibia. It was the country's worst ever World Cup performance in the 28-year history of the tournament. In Karachi and Lahore, angry mobs burned effigies of Wasim and Waqar to register their anger with the team after their pitiful performance. "Home should be the last place one should fear going, but our past experience has led to a situation where everyone is dreading the backlash," he wrote in his syndicated column. Wasim also hit out at teammates Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq for their poor form in the tournament. "The selectors must take a long hard look at the likes of Shahid Afridi. His approach would hardly inspire any captain to persist with him," he wrote.