Let us play at home to improve our game: Waqar
NAPIER (Reuters) – Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has urged the International Cricket Council and other cricketing countries to return to playing matches in the strife-torn nation.
Pakistan have not played a series at home since February 2009 when the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore and six policemen and a van driver were killed. Several members of the Sri Lanka team were also injured in the attack.
Since then Pakistan have played all of their ‘home’ series in UAE, who they beat by 129 runs at McLean Park on Wednesday.
“Pakistan need teams to come to Pakistan,” the 43-year-old former fast bowler told reporters. “That’s what the ICC and world cricket can do to help us out by restarting cricket back in Pakistan.
“It is a huge loss that cricket is not being played in Pakistan and of course you can see the symptoms.
“That’s the help we can ask for from the cricketing world.”
Pakistan have struggled at the World Cup, with their only victories coming against Zimbabwe, which was only by 20 runs, and then UAE on Wednesday.
Their batsmen have all struggled, though on Wednesday, four of the top five all scored above 40 with Ahmed Shehzad top-scoring with 93 before he was run out.
The only concern was Nasir Jamshed, who scored just four runs, taking his World Cup total to five runs in three innings, and his performance was heavily criticised by Pakistani media on Wednesday.
Waqar, however, refused to vilify Jamshed, whose fielding was also atrocious, and said he hoped the confidence his batsmen got on Wednesday would help pick the team up for their remaining matches against South Africa and Ireland.
“I still feel that Pakistan need an extra batsmen in the lineup but our batsmen are out of form and we are not getting what we are looking for from them,” he said.
“If you look around the different teams, they are picking up. You can see India picking up very late.
“Teams like South Africa lost badly and are picking up.
“That’s what we are hoping, that all these boys who got runs today can carry on with it.”