Karachi, June 17: Former captain Zaheer Abbas has lamented the shortage of quality batsmen in Pakistan and said the absence of role models has led to the side's woes in batting department.
"The way I see it our poor batting performances in recent years can be put down to the fact that we are not producing role models for the new players," Zaheer said. "Tell me today who is the role model for young batsman in the team. In the past we had a line of top batsmen from generation to generation. When I came in I looked up to Hanif Muhammad and others when younger players came in they looked up to us," he said.
He pointed out that for years Pakistan had produced quality pace bowlers because new players had idols to follow. "We need to think about how to revamp the system to produce quality players. I don't think any coaching will help until we get players of the highest caliber."
Zaheer referred to neighbouring India as the perfect example of how young players followed in the footsteps of quality role models.
"Today India has a wealth of quality batsmen why because they have maintained a culture of producing top line batsmen. Today players like Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina know if they don't live up to the standards set by their predecessors they will not survive for long in the team," he said.
"India produced quality batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly and they all went at the right time leaving behind a legacy for new players to follow. Unfortunately in Pakistan cricket after Inzamam or Yousuf we have just not produced enough quality batsmen. Younis is the last in line and he is out of the team," Zaheer said.
Former captain, Aamir Sohail called for changes in the domestic structure and for regional cricket associations to be given more responsibility. "You will only find quality new players from these regions. In the past the regions produced players and departments groomed them. They were big names in these departments. But over the years standards have declined," Sohail said.