New Delhi, Dec 10: Pakistan cricket is facing its biggest crisis so far, and the team stands little chance of winning the 2011 World Cup without fast bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, former captain Imran Khan has said.
"Cricket in Pakistan faces its biggest crisis and so does the country," the Daily Times quoted Imran, who was in New Delhi to promote the World Cup, as saying to reporters.
"Sadly, the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board is the president (of the country) and the less I say of him, the better," the cricketer-turned-politician added.
He acknowledged that Pakistan cricket was in a "mess"
, as the key Pakistani bowlers- Asif and Aamir- were presently under suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over allegations of spot-fixing in the fourth Test against England this year.
"We are in a mess. We have the talent but we want to know the verdict on Asif and Aamir. They are arguably the best opening pair of bowlers...I have seen both Wasim Akram and Aamir, and I can tell you Aamir is ahead of what Wasim was at this age...Without those two, our bowling is not potent," said Imran, whose charismatic captaincy was crucial in securing Pakistan's only World Cup triumph in 1992.
He, however, backed Pakistan's One-day International captain Shahid Afridi to "pull off something out of the ordinary" in the mega event.
"Pakistan's ODI captain Shahid Afridi is someone, probably the only one, who can pull off something out of the ordinary. Pakistan have their back against wall," Imran said.
"Afridi is unpredictable. If he can hit a purple patch, in one-dayers you need just two quality batsmen to hit a purple patch and rest can rally around. "Pakistan are very unpredictable but it's not the best of time," he added.