Akhtar hopes that younger players will not get lured into the lucrative world of Twenty20 cricket
Pakistan pace maestro Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that he believes Twenty20 cricket has done an immense amount of damage to the current national team.
Akhtar, stated that Twenty20 cricket has affected the techniques of the current Pakistan players, and is also responsible for the lack of fitness that has been an issue in the past couple of months.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Akhtar said: “I think T20 cricket has not been good for our players and their techniques have been affected negatively and too much of T20 cricket is also posing fitness issues for them.”
Akhtar, who retired from cricket during the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-over World Cup, also mentioned that he would advise the younger players to concentrate on playing ODIs and Test cricket, even though there is more money to be made in the Twenty20 format.
“I know there is lot of money involved for players in the shorter form but I would advise them to focus on one-day and tests because that is the real test for a cricketer and improves his fitness and techniques,” Akhtar said.
When asked about whether he had thought of making a comeback, Akhtar said: “I thought I should try to play for my country again but fitness issues have stopped this from happening as doctors have advised me against returning to international cricket.”
However, Akhtar believes he can still help Pakistan cricket in the future, as he intends to take up a job scouting and training younger talents in order to groom them into becoming great assets for their country.
“I want to do something for Pakistan cricket and I think I can do that by scouting out talent from every nook and corner and neighbourhood of the country because I know this is huge talent in our country and it just needs to be tapped properly,” Akhtar added.
Akhtar was also questioned about the recent string of match-fixing scandals involving Pakistani players, and he said: “If we had not lost Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif to the spot fixing scandal we could have won the 2011 World Cup it is sad we are losing players like and I always say greed leads to a person’s downfall.”
Akhtar, hopes that the examples made out of the Pakistani cricketers who were part of match-fixing scandals will help deter younger players from going to extremes in order to get more money in their pockets.
“This comes from hard work and dedication and players must realize that there is no greater honor than playing for your country and doing well for it,” Akhtar said.