Lahore, Mar 11 : The PCB’s stern action against country’s top players, including the life bans on Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan for the ignominious defeats Down Under, has prompted mixed reaction from former greats with few standing by the veteran cricketers, while others felt the national board took the right decision in a bid to improve the state of Pakistan cricket.
Ex-captain Inzaman-ul-Haq was unhappy with the decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and felt that Younis and Yousuf should challenge the board’s decision in court.
He also said such a decision would further damage Pakistan’s image in the world with foreign teams already refusing to tour the nation due to security concerns.
”Younis and Yousuf should go to court to challenge the decision.
This is not a good decision for Pakistan cricket. I don’t understand the decision. The committee comprised employees of the PCB and there was no neutral person in it. What sort of message are we delivering to the world by taking such decisions at a time when nobody is agreeing to come to Pakistan to play cricket?,” questioned Inzamam.
Meanwhile, another former captain Rashid Latif also felt in the same way, and said Younis, who led the team to the Twenty20 glory, did not deserve the ban.
”I think Younis has been treated unfairly for long now, what was his fault and yet he is banned for life. This is not the way to improve things in Pakistan cricket,” Latif said.
Waqar Younis, who was recently appointed as the coach of the Pakistan cricket team, expressed his shock over the PCB’s decision to ban and fine several leading national players.
The former fast bowler, however, said he was unaware of the punishment handed out to the players.
”This is a shocking and surprising development. I need time to get more details,” said Waqar who is currently in Sydney but is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan within the next few days.
Former captain Ramiz Raja also was critical on the harsh treatment meted out to the cricketers and said putting an end to the players’ international career was a little too much.
”Our main problem was discipline, but barring players, I am not sure, it doesn’t look nice to just end the international careers of such talented players. It was surprising but the PCB needed to make an example and took a step to clean up the indiscipline,” Ramiz was quoted as saying by ‘The News’.
However, Zaheer Abbas, another former Pakistan captain, backed the PCB’s decision defining it as brave.
He also felt that the action would eradicate player power in the country forever.
”Player power was affecting team’s performance badly. There was no discipline in the team and it had become impossible for the board to tackle the players. The decision is beneficial even if we lose in the Twenty20 World Cup. Even budding players will always have in mind that if senior players can be punished, then they too are no exceptions,” he said.
Pakistan leg-spin wizard and PCB Chief selector Abdul Qadir also echoed Abbas’ opinion and said the decision will improve the cricketing affairs in the country.
”It’s a good decision and will go a long way to improve the state of cricket in Pakistan besides improving the discipline.” Former fast bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz too was in support of PCB’s discretion and felt that Rana Naved and Kamran Akmal also should have been banned.
”From now on, every player will be very careful because they know that they can be fined or banned if they violate discipline.
Younis and Yousuf have got old, but Naved and Akmal should have also been banned for a year,” a fumed Sarfaraz asserted.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), acting swiftly on the recommendations of a six-man inquiry committee probing into the reasons for the national side’s shambolic prformances against Austarlia where they lost all the matches in the Tests amd ODIs, including the one off Twenty20 match, yesterday imposed heavy punishments to most of the senior players.
While Yousuf and Younis were banned from representing their country in future due to their alleged involvement in match fixing and letting the team down in many ocassions, former captain Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan have been banned for a year.
Controversial all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal have been served a final warning and put on probation for six months for various misdemeanours. The trio were also fined between 2-3 million rupees.
Afridi was punished for the ball-biting incident during the fifth and final ODI in Perth. Yousuf, the captain during the Australian tour, and Younis – the previous incumbent – however were eligible for county and domestic cricket.