Pakistan's lack of quality pace bowlers reason for poor show in South Africa: Iqbal Qasim

Iqbal Qasim said that Pakistan’s fast bowlers had not performed up to expectations in the series so far © AFP

Karachi: Mar 14, 2013

Pakistan cricket chief selector Iqbal Qasim has said that the dearth of quality pace bowlers is the key reason for the national team’s poor performance in the ongoing tour of South Africa.

Qasim said that Pakistan at the moment lacked pacers of the class of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.

“The truth is the pace bowling cupboard is bare of quality stuff and the situation in domestic cricket is also not very encouraging for us,” Qasim told Geo Super channel.

The former Test spinner, who has had to face criticism for the team’s shoddy showing in South Africa, said that the fast bowlers had not performed up to expectations in the series so far.

“We need to be honest with ourselves that we are not producing the quality players we used to have in the past. It is the same as far as fast bowling is concerned,” he said.

Pakistan lost all three Tests inside four days and their most experienced pacer, Umar Gul, could take just five wickets in two matches at an average of 45 each.

The Pakistan team has been facing a dearth of fast bowlers for some time now. Two of its best pacers of the modern generation — Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir — were banned by the International Cricket Council and also served jail sentences for the spot-fixing scandal that broke out in England in 2010.

Qasim said that he had discussed the matter with the PCB and when the team returned home, the selectors would take stock of performances and figure out what needed to be done for the future.

“We will have a meeting with the board when the tour is over. I wouldn’t like to make any comments now when the team is still playing in South Africa. We have identified some areas where we need to work hard. One of them is finding and grooming new pace bowlers,” he said.

He said that the idea is to find raw talents and have them scrutinised and groomed for future in a special fast bowling camp with the help of greats like Wasim, Waqar and others.Umar Gul

“The fact is that now-a-days you need to have a battery of quality pace bowlers to meet the demands of the international calender and all three different formats of the game,” Qasim said.

The Pakistan team’s performance, including the team management’s, has come in for strong criticism from the cricket community with some former players demanding the sacking of coach Dav Whatmore and some senior players.