Karachi: Twenty20 is not Quality Cricket: Akram


Karachi, Apr 22: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes one-day cricket will need to undergo some changes for it to survive in the wake of the rising popularity of the Twenty20 format.

Akram said he, at times, got bored watching 50-over matches in the middle stages and there was a definite need to bring about changes in the rules to revive one-day cricket and make it more exciting and watchable.

"Twenty20 cricket is gaining popularity because it is exciting cricket and it is aimed at the younger generation who want to watch high class sport in three to four hours," Akram said.

"Twenty20 cricket is good for the future of the game but at the same time it is not quality cricket. It is simply entertainment. And to protect the real competition like one-dayers or Test matches, the ICC needs to think about revolutionary rule changes."

Akram said the idea of Test cricket under lights was not a bad one and could be worked out if given proper thought.

He said that the Indian Premier League was a good idea but the credit for launching this sort of tournament should be given to the Indian Cricket League.

"I think the Indian Board started working on the IPL after the ICL. I know this much these events mean good money for players and will entertain the crowds but they are also going to damage the traditional cricket in the long run. How much only time will tell," the former left-arm paceman said.

Akram, who played 114 Tests and 356 one-dayers before retiring in 2003, said he was happy the players were getting paid well.

"I think the boards of different countries should also think about raising the pay packages of their players or else we will have a situation where players might opt to give preference to the private Twenty20 leagues instead of their national teams," he said.

The 10 successive wins over minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh notwithstanding, Akram felt Pakistan was quite some way behind India in the cricketing ladder.

"Any win, any century or any wicket does matter in international cricket no matter what the opposition. So I think the team has done well to win so convincingly against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. But I think while it is good for the players' morale but we are still lagging behind other teams," he stated.

"The Indian team is well ahead of us at this time and we need to work really hard to do well in the Asia Cup at home and improve our rankings," the former left-arm paceman said.

Akram expressed surprise over the continued omission of Mohammad Yousuf from the Pakistan Twenty20 side.

"He is a quality player and when Misbah-ul-Haq, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendular who are older or around the same age as Yousuf can play instant cricket why can't he be considered?" he questioned.

"I think after being deprived of the opportunity to play in the IPL, the board should consider Yousuf for Twenty20 games. He needs to work hard on his fielding but he is a tremendous batsman in any form and I think the selectors and team management is making a big mistake by dropping Yousuf," Akram added.


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Title: Karachi: Twenty20 is not Quality Cricket: Akram

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