Amid the coronavirus pandemic when the cricket fraternity is calling for life over cricket, Pakistan cricketer Azhar Ali on Thursday took a different stand, as he said he was all for cricket behind closed-doors if health and public safety is taken care off. Also Read - UP News: 21 Fresh Coronavirus Cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Total Tally at 591
“There is nothing to watch on TV, no sports is happening around the world. So people will be happy if they get to watch something somehow. But lives and health of people is important and if that is not compromised, we can start with cricket slowly, but not now,” said Ali. Also Read - 'Govt Penalising Doctors', Delhi Medical Association Hits Out at CM Kejriwal For Warning Hospitals Over COVID-19 Crisis
He felt the ongoing World Test Championship that has been put on hold should be extended once things normalise, he said, “All teams will get due time to play all matches I feel. Then if matches can’t be finished on time, it should be extended.” Also Read - Procure And Stock PPE Kits, Oxygen Masks For 3 Months, Delhi Govt Directs Hospitals Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases
Azhar also spoke on his relationship with coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, saying they both have similar ideas and having played under him for a long time, they get along very well.
“We don’t have a lot of disagreements. We are more often than not on the same page. I have played a lot under Misbah bhai and that helps. We understand each other,” he said.
On bowling coach Waqar, and how he is different to Misbah as a coach, he said: “I discuss things with him (Waqar) regarding bowling. Misbah is calmer. That”s his way of working, he is cool. Waqar used to do it in a different way. Both are big names in Pakistan cricket. Waqar bhai is a legend.”
Azhar further said his knee injury was a reason behind his dip in form and also a factor behind him deciding not to play white-ball cricket for Pakistan and focus only on Tests.
“Knee injury has hampered my form and I was at my peak when it happened. We had won the Champions Trophy. Those 6-8 months did disturb me. Injury is a phase and that needs to be dealt with. I am working hard to get back to form,” said the 35-year old.