Cricket overdose cause of injuries: Waqar

Published: Sunday, September 26, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Pakistan's legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis said the spate of injuries to top cricketers worldwide including Sachin Tendulkar was a result of an overdose of cricket, which was also reducing the career span of the players.

Waqar said the cramped cricket schedule in recent times was not only inviting injuries but was also drastically shortening the careers of the players.

"The injuries to so many top players are the result of too much cricket being played these days. Earlier a cricketer could play for 20 years but nowadays the careers have been reduced to 10 years," the former Pakistan captain said.

Waqar, a master in the art of reverse swing, said that the appointment of Bob Woolmer as Pakistan's coach has worked wonders for the team, which is now playing to its potential.

"The credit for Pakistan cricket team's improved performance goes to all the players but I think coach Woolmer has also worked hard to give best results," he said.

Pakistan had lost the recent One-day series 2-3 against India at home in March this year but have come back splendidly to beat the archrivals three times in a row in recent tournaments.

"Indo-Pak matches are high-voltage matches. There is a lot of effort put in by the players. These are the best matches."

"India and Pakistan are one of the best sides in the world today. There is no comparison to these matches," Waqar, who was in the capital in connection with a coaching clinic said.

Asked whether Tendulkar's injury-induced absence will affect India's prospects during the home series against Australia, the former captain said, "His absence was felt in the recent matches played by India. Sachin is a very good player, I do not need to comment further".

Although India's cricketing fortunes have taken a downward plunge in recent times, Waqar has been highly impressed by the new pace sensation Irfan Pathan.

"India has a number of good players but Pathan has really proved himself in international matches. He is a great prospect for India."

On the controversy that followed reports of Wasim Akram being appointed bowling coach of India, the former fast bowler said, "There is no harm in imparting tips to any player. I don't understand why there was such a controversy".

Waqar spent about an hour with fifty-odd youngsters at a coaching camp organised by national selector Kirti Azad under the aegis of an NGO 'Karma'.

He gave them vital tips on fast bowling and how to motivate oneself before a match.

"I used to always tell myself 'I am the best' and then tried to prove it on the field. It helped me to motivate myself for the matches," Waqar told the aspiring cricketers.

When the children asked him whom he found the most difficult to bowl against Waqar said, "Bowling to Lara was the toughest particularly when he was at his best".

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