KARACHI: Former Pakistan controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for deciding to send 10 officials with the national team for their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. “I don’t know what they are trying to do but this board is full of ignorant people and it is useless tying to talk sense into them,” Akhtar said. The fast bowler said he didn’t understand the purpose of appointing so many officials with the team. “This board is spending Rs.150 million just on salaries and it has more than 700 employees and what is the net result ... nothing,” he said during an interview on private sports channel.
“When I was playing there were lesser employees in the board and the money was well spent on cricket and we were doing well in international cricket.” The former pacer said that the culture of appointing so many officials for foreign tours was mainly to reward one’s favourites. “I don’t see any reason for sending an assistant coach or a spin bowling coach. In the past only a manager, physio and trainer travelled with the team. Sending so many officials is a waste of money in my mind because we are getting no positive results at all,” Akhtar stated.
Akhtar said if he had his way he would appoint just a manager to look after all administrative affairs and one coach or mentor. “There is also no need for a chief selector. The captain should be so strong like Imran Khan was that he can himself guide the players and lead the way. In the recent years the board has sent so many officials with the team and I have seen as a member of the team their contribution is zero,” he maintained. Akhtar lamented that Pakistan cricket was just going from bad to worse despite so many high profile appointments in recent days. “There is no improvement at all. Already as a nation we are criticised daily and the same thing is now happening with our cricket because ignorant people are running cricket affairs.”
Asked about the Sri Lanka tour, the former pacer said that the selectors had done the right thing by not picking left-arm pacer Muhammad Irfan for the series. “The conditions in Sri Lanka at this time of the year are very humid and the grounds are soft. Bowling in the final two sessions takes a toll on the leg muscles and back and I just hope the fast bowlers, who have been picked are used properly. There should be more dependence on the spinners to bowl long spells,” he said.
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