July 16, 2013

Pakistan bowling legend Wasim Akram has said that the intensity and competitiveness of the Ashes series cannot be compared with any India-Pakistan match.

Although many regard the Ashes as the pinnacle in the cricketing arena, Akram, who is in the UK for the first Test, believe that although India-Pakistan games are similar to the Ashes, but if a Pakistan team lost, they might not be back again the next time.

However, Akram said that if Australia or England lost a match then they probably resign themselves to their fate and say ‘never mind, better luck next time’.

Citing the example of Pakistan’s 1996 World Cup quarter-final in Bangalore against India, Akram said that he and his team lost the game, after which as a captain, he was told by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to come back, adding that the entire team did not go back to Lahore.

Meanwhile, Akram, who snared nearly 1,000 wickets in Test and ODI games, revealed that he enjoyed playing under Pakistan legend Imran Khan, who he claimed was his idol growing up, adding that Khan was his main inspiration and is still a mentor to him, like many cricketers.

Akram also said that he used to have pictures of Khan on his bedroom wall.

Strongly criticising the Pakistan set-up following the team’s miserable showing in the ICC Champions Trophy, Akram called for drastic changes to the squad, saying that even though the bowling is phenomenal, the batsmen are struggling, adding that they need to play more Test cricket and domestic games.

However, Akram, who played in 104 Tests between 1985 and 2002, praised paceman Mohammad Irfan, calling him a real star in a team, which lost all three of their fixtures in the short-format event in England.

Courtesy: DNA

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