Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is utterly disappointed with Pakistani players ignoring Test cricket and instead choosing to play more limited-overs cricket. Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from all forms of the game last December. A year before that he had already quit from Test cricket, aged 27.
Another senior pacer in Wahab Riaz was also reported to have swayed away from playing in the five-day format and to put his energies playing more limited-overs cricket.
Shoaib Akhtar has now lambasted the players; he says that if things were given his command, he would have asked the players to play red-ball cricket, only then they would be allowed to play other formats.
He understands that preparing for Test cricket demands a higher level of fitness, but, he believes, cricketers should be willing to train harder to represent their country.
“If the policies were in my hand, I would have told the players that if you want to play for Pakistan then you have to play Test cricket. I will manage you, I will make you a star. I want 12 Tests in a year and I will make you train and teach you.
“Even then if he doesn’t do the needful, no central contract. You won’t even play T20s,” Shoaib Akhtar said on Cricket Pakistan’s YouTube channel.
I will tell them to not play T20Is too and go home: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar further stated that he would tell those players to “go home and take rest” and won’t allow them to play T20Is as well for Pakistan if they refuse to play in Test cricket. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ reckons youngsters should be groomed and invested in which will help Pakistan cricket in the future.
“I will tell them to not play T20Is too and go home and take rest. I would rather work with 16-year-olds. I would bring boys from all over Pakistan and invest in them,” the 45-year-old former speedster added.