Huge gulf in talent between cricketers of India and Pakistan, says Javed Miandad
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Huge gulf in talent between cricketers of India and Pakistan, says Javed Miandad

Javed Miandad praised the Indian cricket team for their performance in the U-19 Cricket World Cup and said that Pakistan need to learn from their neighbours.

cricket Updated: Feb 08, 2018 17:32 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Javed Miandad,U-19 Cricket World Cup,Indian cricket team
Javed Miandad said that the U-19 Cricket World Cup showed the difference in talent between the cricketers of India and Pakistan.(PTI)

Former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad is known for wearing his heart on his sleeve. He played his cricket aggressively and brings the same level of intensity when he speaks on an issue.

The 60-year-old recently spoke to on a range of issues including Pakistan’s big loss against India in the Under-19 World Cup and the shoddy treatment of domestic cricket in his country.

Expressing his views on Pakistan’s humiliating 203-run drubbing at the hands of Indian team in the semi-final of U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, Miandad said the margin of defeat only highlighted the gulf in talent between players from both nations.

“The loss to India in the ICC U-19 World Cup was by a big margin of 203 runs which is hard to take but if truth be told, our team was lucky to have progressed that far given the inexperience of our players. Of course, victory and defeat are part of any sport, but we need to accept that there was a huge difference in terms of skills between both teams.”

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The Indian Team, which was coached by cricket great Rahul Dravid, later went on to lift the trophy after defeating Australia in the final. Dravid’s presence, in the views of many experts, was the reason behind Indian Colts’ stupendous run in the World Cup. Miandad, though, downplayed a coach’s role behind the success of a team when asked if Pakistan would have been served better if they had appointed a famous name instead of Mansoor Rana as the coach of the side for the Youth World Cup.

“Having a coach like Rahul Dravid sounds very exciting but I have never been a great supporter of big name coaches at such a level. At this level, it is more about guidance than someone teaching you the basics of the game as that should have been done at the earlier stages of a player’s development. In sports, teams lose and get relegated in leagues, but the blame is never put on coaches alone. The fact is that if you are a raw material i.e. the quality of the players for the team is questionable then how can one expect a coach to fix that and make them a winning unit?” he said.

Miandad was considered a nemesis of Indian cricket team during his cricket career and nothing highlighted it better than his match-winning last-ball six off medium pacer Chetan Sharma in the final of Austral-Asia Cup in Sharjah in 1986. However, he appreciated India’s cricket system while lambasting the way the game is currently run at domestic level in Pakistan.

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“India is a huge country with a bigger population than Pakistan, yet our players are able to challenge India in cricket which tells me that we have the potential, but we simply do not have the system that can support and get the best out of that potential. From the lack of good training facilities to sub-standard wickets, the problems that our youngsters face in playing cricket are just indescribable.”

“We have children starting to play cricket in side streets instead of learning their game in proper grounds. When people understand how our kids learn their cricket, then they will understand the reason for our current cricketing issues. I am sorry, but the present-day authorities due to their unprofessional behaviour have destroyed the system that used to produce teams which could beat the top teams of the world like the West Indies at a time when they were unbeatable.”

Miandad also had some harsh words for the senior members of Pakistan team which recently suffered a 5-0 whitewash in ODIs in New Zealand. Blaming the batsmen for showing lack of patience, he said that the Sarfraz Ahmed and Co. didn’t have any plan while batting.

“ODI pitches are by definition helpful to batsmen and we saw that New Zealand had no issues, and they also played in a calm manner with controlled aggression. In contrast, our batsmen seemed to be in a hurry and did not have a target in mind. If you play in that way, without thought or planning, the result is what we saw in the ODI series,”

READ | Under-19 World Cup win is a reflection of taking cricket to remote areas: Sachin Tendulkar

A key member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning team, Miandad , also expressed his disapproval of modern-day coaching techniques which he believes are doing more harm than good to the current lot of Pakistan players.

“During my time in charge, I was not the one to stand on the sidelines when coaching players. In fact, in practice games, I would be on the pitch guiding players through match situations and helping them understand how to score runs or take wickets in different stages of the match. Cricket is a game where you cannot just speak about it, but you need to teach technique in a practical way too which I used to do,” said Miandad who had as many as three stints as the coach of the national side post his retirement from the game.

He also came down hard at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for running matters related to cricket in the country in an unprofessional way.

“We have a situation where people who work for the PCB are collecting wages for doing no work and don’t seem to be worried about losing their jobs for incompetence. We have little control over financial matters and the manner in which expenses are claimed. To me, it is sad to see this situation but the fact is that Pakistan cricket is in a bad shape because of the lack of accountability in the PCB.”

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 17:18 IST