Frequent cricket with India will only help Pak players: Abbas

Last Updated 18 September 2013, 05:01 IST

Former captain Zaheer Abbas feels restoration of bilateral cricket ties with India would prove to be beneficial for Pakistan as presently India is in a stronger position in world cricket.

"I have always said that regular Indo-Pak cricket relations and ties also lead to improved relations at people to people and government levels," Abbas told PTI in an interview.

The former batting great, who has held key positions in Pakistan cricket, said he was happy to see Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif taking steps to encourage regular cricketing and sporting ties between the two nations.

"At the moment the Indian team is better than us and there is no doubt about it. If we play against India regularly it will benefit our players," he observed.
Abbas said that the situation had changed over the years in international cricket and in Indo-Pak relations.

"What is sad is that there have been instances in the past when India and Pakistan have not played each other for years after one or two series evven though Indo-Pak contests generate so much interest and revenues for the Boards and players," he said.

"I loved playing against India but unfortunately in my career I got to play just a few Test series against them. But we enjoyed good relations with some of the Indian players when we came across in England or in any other country in those days."

The former skipper said that at the moment India is the hub of international cricket.
"The money is there. India has a big market for cricket and it is good to hear that Pakistan Cricket Board officials have held meetings with Indian Board (BCCI) officials," he said.

But Abbas advised the PCB to also reap benefits from any future matches with India.
"We should ensure that any understanding or agreement with the BCCI is also beneficial to us and it should not be like last December when we went to play in India and didn't get a single penny from it," he said.

The former batsman also called on the PCB to appoint a batting coach for the national team as soon as possible and said in his opinion Javed Miandad should be the first choice for the job.

"There is a definite need to have a batting coach with the current lot of players who really need to lay more stress on their game and apply themselves. The way we played on the recent tour of Zimbabwe our quality just didn't come through. It was disappointing to lose a Test to a weak team," Abbas said.

He also advised Misbah-ul-Haq to work on his captaincy and approach.

"Our captains need to bring about the qualities that Imran Khan had. They need to be bold and set examples for other players. It is a captain's job to encourage young players and motivate other seniors," he said.

"In our days we didn't have specialist coaches but we learnt from each other even though there was professional jealousy in the team. But in the end every player was trying to prove with his performances that he is better than others."

(Published 18 September 2013, 05:01 IST)

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