Friday, August 29, 2008

Champions Trophy 08 postpone is a blow to Pakistani Cricket

Postponement of the Champions Trophy, which was slated next month in Pakistan, is a huge setback for cricket in the trouble-torn country, according to former pacer Wasim Akram.

"I should say yes, the postponement of Champions Trophy is a big blow for Pakistan," Akram said on the sideline of a seven-day cricket camp on Friday.

"I really don't know why the South Africa team refused to participate in the tournament in Pakistan, even after initially giving their nod. It is also unfortunate that Australia and England also raised security concern," Akram, who has served Pakistan in 104 Test matches, said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the tournament till next year after some cricket boards voiced concern about the players' security in the volatile country.

Akram was equally disappointed with the scenario back home and said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was struggling to put the things in order after its Chairman Nasim Ashraf resigned recently.

"The PCB is in shambles now. They have no Chairman, no direction. We are really struggling to recover," he said.

On Mohammad Asif, who is facing a dope charge, Akram said the pacer was young and he would give him another chance.

"He is only 23-year-old now. He has committed a mistake, but I would like to give him another chance," he said.

The former captain, however, was harsh on Pakistan skipper Shaoib Malik and felt he needed to lead by example.

"Once I recommended his name as Pakistan captain to the PCB but he has not delivered. Malik should believe on himself and lead from the front," said Akram, who scalped 414 Test and 502 ODI wickets in his kitty.