Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis has called for a “mechanism” that ensures that the Pakistan Cricket Board and team management are kept in the loop about players’ future to avoid being caught off guard by abrupt departures.
Waqar spoke in the context of the red-ball departures of fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, just before an important series against Australia. While Amir announced his retirement from the longest format to focus on his white-ball career, Wahab said he was taking an indefinite break from Tests.
“Just before the Australia series, they ditched us and we had the only choice to pick youngsters,” Waqar said during a video conference. “We were the new management and decided to go on with taking in the younger lot and groom them. Misbah [-ul-Haq, the head coach and chief selector] spoke about this earlier about having a policy about players deciding what and what not to play.
“We cannot control players’ choice on what they want to play, but then there should be a mechanism so we all are on board. It never should be like players leaving last moment and not keeping anyone in the loop or giving enough time for back up.”
In the duo’s absence, Pakistan’s bowling stocks plunged, and with insufficient time to adjust to life without their two premier pacemen, Pakistan were swept 2-0, losing both Tests by an innings.
“It’s not like I am saying we could have won in Australia, but we could have done better than what we have done,” Waqar said. “But now we have a bench and we are building it up and expanding it so that we cannot face any problem going forward. I know and you know that there are so many leagues around the world and these boys want to play it. It is just four overs and take money, and they remain in their comfort as well, which sometimes damages the country.
“It’s not like we have lost a lot, but yes, they left us at the wrong time. But anyway, we don’t have any grudge against them. I still feel they have a lot to contribute in white-ball cricket and they should carry on playing for Pakistan.”