Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis expressed his displeasure towards Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz’s decision to quit red-ball cricket last year and blamed mushrooming T20 leagues for providing easy money to cricketers. Waqar believes these leagues are making cricketers inconsiderate towards national interest. He cited Amir and Wahab’s example as one such instance in which their personal goals ended up adversely affecting the national team. Also Read - Dinesh Karthik Talks About Training Schedule Post COVID-19 Break, Says Need Minimum 4 Weeks to Achieve Match Fitness
Amir’s decision to quit Test cricket at the age of 27 caused quite a stir. “These leagues offer easy money for players who can remain in comfort as they have to bowl just four overs,” Waqar said in a conference call with journalists on Monday. Also Read - Delhi Capitals' Pacer Kagiso Rabada Rues IPL Postponement, Clears Air Around His On-field Aggression
“But at times, while thinking about their comfort zone players don’t think how much damage they can do to the national interest. They don’t think about the broader picture,” he added. Also Read - England Captain Joe Root in Doubt For First Test vs West Indies Due to ECB's COVID-19 Self-isolation Rule
Waqar also criticised Amir and Wahab for the way they announced their retirement decision on social media.
“If you are sitting on social media and announcing your decision it really hurts. They should have informed their management or board first. They should have discussed it first. It is unfortunate they did this because of this we had to suffer a bit,” he said.
“But I wouldn’t say we are lost or anything. If they have taken their decisions fine. But we have no grudge against them. I still think they both have cricket left in them.”
“They should carry on playing white-ball cricket if they are selected for Pakistan. Yes, they did leave the team in a difficult situation at that time,” he added.
He noted that head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has spoken about having a policy where the board and management is aware of players wanting to quit Test cricket.
“I think there should be a policy based on which players quit Test cricket but we can’t put any restrictions even by law. Players should take decisions by coordinating with the board because it hurts the team,” he said.
Waqar did not believe there was any communication gap between players and the board which led to this situation. He also spoke about Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali not being able to play for Pakistan since the last World Cup and said injuries had hurt him.
Pakistan’s former bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has claimed that Hasan’s injury was prolonged and affected his fitness because he was made to lift heavyweights in the gym.
Waqar said this was the first time he had heard about this. “I don’t know how Azhar knows this while sitting in England but what I know is that injuries hurt him. Look, fast bowlers will also have fitness issues. It is difficult that a fast bowler will never get injured,” he said.