Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis thinks that his side’s senior Pakistan players are guilty of stretching their careers despite being well past their prime.
Waqar urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to make no compromises on fitness and form to avoid a debacle like the just-concluded World Cup. Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co were knocked out in the round-robin stage, and the tournament ended with hosts England winning the title in thrilling fashion on Sunday.
“Till the last moment, our World Cup squad was not clear,” Waqar said in an interview to Daily Jang. “There is a big problem that senior players try to linger on in their careers and there is no one to tell them it is time for them to retire gracefully.”
He added, “For the last so many years, we see the same thing. At the last moment, seniors are brought in as the authorities are scared to lose in a big tournament.”
Lashing out at those defending Pakistan’s performance in the World Cup on the basis of the fact that the team won its last four matches, Waqar argued that the team should never have been in such a position.
“The way we struggled to win against Afghanistan in the final over – it should not be like that. Our biggest problem is we make compromises in selection on fitness issues, seniority, and other matters,” he said.
Waqar, who was replaced as head coach of the national team in 2016 by Mickey Arthur after a two-and-half-year stint, said it was clear in the World Cup that the fitness of Pakistani players was way below the other sides in the tournament.
“After every World Cup, we see the same script in our cricket with only the characters changed. But this is not the way to move forward we need to assess where we are going wrong,” he said.
“Every four years we do the same exercise change the captain, sack the coaches and shoot the chief selector and blame the domestic structure but this leads to nowhere and the same mistakes are repeated again.”
Waqar said that he had given a comprehensive plan to the PCB on how to take the game forward in the country. “I told them to not have any compromises on fitness, development of players who can play at the rate of 3 and a half and 4 runs per over and seniors being told to retire at the right time but nothing came off it,” he said.
The 47-year-old also insisted that he had no ambitions to become the team’s head coach again. He said: “There is a new set-up in the PCB and they have new ideas which is good but it is not necessary I can do something good for Pakistan cricket only being the head coach. I can do that in any position. If the PCB offers me something I will definitely think over it.”