'Test Cricket is alive and kicking': Akram

Published: Friday, October 8, 2010, 11:41 [IST]
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'Test Cricket is alive and kicking'

Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistan pacer had all praises for the recently concluded Mohali Test between India and Australia. The passion with which the match was played by both the sides helps in keeping the audience attached to the oldest form of the game was what he expressed.

"Australia looked good to win the Test at one stage. But I must say, the ninth-wicket 81-run stand between Ishant (Sharma) and (VVS) Laxman was decisive. India's grit and the ability to fight till the last were good signs. Players like Laxman, Dravid, Sachin and Zaheer only reinforce my view that there is no substitute for experience in Test cricket," Akram said.

"Test cricket is alive and kicking. Coming at the back of the Champions League T20, the Mohali Test had more excitement than the Chennai Super
Kings-Warriors final. For those who have questioned the future of Test cricket, the Mohali match has been a great advertisement for the five-day game," Akram said.

While applauding the efforts of Senior pros like Sachin, Laxman and Zaheer he also adviced the youngsters to play more and more of the longer format of the game as it would only help in enhancing their performances.

Akram seemed dissatisfied with the number of matches that were scheduled for the India-Australia test series and urged that the International Cricket Council should look into putting in more matches between top test playing nations like India and Australia.

"Unfortunately, a two-Test series between the top countries in the world is not enough. I feel a two-match series is unfair on the visiting side, more so if the team is Australia, England or New Zealand. I wonder how the Aussies agreed to this itinerary." he said.

Akram was also not that praised by the events that have happened off late concerning the Pakistani players and questioned the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for its poor management.

"Our players have been in the news for the wrong reason and it's all hunky-dory out there. It is so sad to see senior players sitting out when the Pakistan team needs them. Crisis and more crises are crippling Pakistan cricket. The good is being overshadowed by the bad and that is unfortunate," Akram expressed.

He also urged the inclusion of the Pakistani players in the upcoming version of the Indian Premier League and expressed that this will only help in bridging the gap between both the nations.

"With the IPL auction due early November, I am really keen to see Pakistan players this time around. Pakistani players add charm to the matches by sheer capability. Players like Umar Gul, Afridi and Saeed Ajmal can be assets for any team.

"Young quickie Mohammad Irfan is also an exciting T20 cricketer. More importantly, IPL following will grow in Pakistan and fans will follow the league. They will also identify with the franchises and their players. That is why it is crucial to open the doors to Pakistani players. It will only improve ties between India and Pakistan," Akram added.


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