Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat has offered a shocking insight into favouritism during his playing days.
He said that “cricketers were fast-tracked based on someone’s liking”, even if they had “played two matches of first-class cricket or not played at all”.
He added that upon getting into the national team, it was a very intimidating and uncomfortable environment as the “senior players had such an attitude that you would feel that you are unwelcome in the team”.
“When I made my debut in 2000, we had come after playing the U-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,” Arafat said on Kamran Akmal’s YouTube channel as quoted by Ary Sports.
“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.
“As far as Pakistan cricket is concerned, we haven’t had better all-rounders than (Abdul) Razzaq and (Azhar) Mahmood 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.”
Arafat represented Pakistan in three Tests, where he scored 94 runs, which included a half-century, at an average of 47. He also took nine wickets, which included a five-for, at an average of 48.66.
In the 11 ODIs he played, the 38-year-old made 74 runs at an average of 14.80 and claimed four wickets at an average of 93.25.
As for his T20 International career, he accumulated 92 runs in 13 matches at an average of 13.14 and picked up 16 wickets at an average of 19.75.