‘The attitude of some senior players made me feel unwelcome’: Yasir Arafat accuses Pakistan cricket of favouritism
Arafat has claimed that the team management over the years has fast-tracked certain talents and overshadowed those more talented and deserving of playing for the senior team.Updated: Sep 08, 2020, 15:16 IST
Former all-rounder Yasir Arafat has accused Pakistan cricket of favouritism and narrated incidents which indicate so. Arafat, who played three Tests, 11 ODIs and 13 T20Is for Pakistan, has claimed that the team management over the years has fast-tracked certain talents and overshadowed those more talented and deserving of playing for the senior team.
“When I made my debut in 2000, we had come after playing the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka. The Pakistan senior team had come back from Australia at the time and there were a lot of changes being made. They had dropped 5-6 players due to the bad performance,” he told former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on his YouTube channel.“Even the captaincy, I think, Wasim Akram was doing it (Saeed Anwar was the captain). In that match Younis Khan and another batsman Imran Abbas also made their debuts. The atmosphere was such, and the senior players had such an attitude that you would feel that you are unwelcome in the team.
“It felt like an alien atmosphere where, if you need to perform, you needed to do it all by yourself and you won’t get any support at all.”
Pakistan had returned from Australia after getting blanked 0-3 in the Test series and losing the first two finals of the tri-series, in which India were also involved. The match Arafat is referring to is the home series against Pakistan, which kicked off in March of 2000 with ODIs and was followed by a three-Test series. Arafat even claimed that even when Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, two of Pakistan’s finest all-rounder of that era, did not play, players far less experienced than him were given preference.
“As far as Pakistan cricket is concerned, we haven’t had better all-rounders than Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood,” he said. “But even when they were not there, other cricketers were fast-tracked based on someone’s liking, someone who had played two matches of first-class cricket or not played at all. I didn’t understand why I was not in their good books.”