Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott said on Monday Pakistani cricketers have always had raw talent despite having lesser access to good facilities but nepotism is weakening its roots and is causing instability.
“What is important is that there is stability from the PCB chairman and the committee and that hasn’t always been the case in Pakistan and that hasn’t helped the players,” Boycott told PakPassion in an interview.
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“There’s usually been trouble at mill and I’ve always felt that if you were in the Pakistan team long enough you’d get dropped, reinstated and at some stage you would become captain, because at one stage everybody got a chance to become captain and that isn’t a recipe for success. You need to have stability behind the scenes and not have all this in-fighting going on in the background. What is happening behind the scenes is important for what happens on the field.
“What has happened at times is that if you were dropped and you had an influential uncle then you’d phone him up and he’d interfere and try and get you back into the team. It’s very difficult when you have all that going on and the environment it creates is not a healthy one.
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“Look at the example of Younis Khan, how many times has he been dropped, then recalled, then made captain. He’s had a very up and down career despite being one of Pakistan’s best players.”
Boycott also said that Pakistan’s rise in Test cricket despite being able to play at home was praiseworthy.
“My view on Pakistan cricket has never changed going back to the days when I played. Pakistan has always had youngsters who come through and who nobody has ever heard of, but who have got raw talent,” said Boycott.
“They come from humble beginnings and despite not very good facilities, they have this raw talent and desire to play well and they play very well on surfaces like those in the UAE which are similar to what they have back home in Pakistan. I’m not surprised that Pakistan keeps producing world-class cricketers as the country is very passionate about cricket.”
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Boycott, who scored 8114 runs in 108 Test matches for England, said that Muhammad Amir should not be brought down by anyone; if he is fit and deserves a place in the team then he should be brought back, so should Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif.
“I’ve always believed in the rule of law. Match-fixing, spot-fixing hurts the game of cricket. Their bans could have been longer but there again I would have a strong conversation with the judge who sent them to jail,” explained Boycott.
“But once they have served their sentence under the rule of law then society says you should be given a second chance. If you are going to give people a second chance then it has to be all-in. Give them a proper chance, get fit, play well and if they are still good enough then give them a chance in the Pakistan team.
“Nobody should hold anything against Mohammad Amir. In fact this applies to any of them, or favour any of the three in any way. Amir and the other two should only get back into the Pakistan team on merit and ability.”