Pakistan will welcome the return of international cricket, as Sri Lanka prepares to play the first ODI of the three-match series in Karachi on September 27. The terrorist attacks a decade ago on the Emerald Islanders was the reason behind a generation in Pakistan missing out on witnessing their cricketers play in front of their own eyes. However, ten of the top stars of Sri Lankan team have decided not to travel with the team, leading to the Sri Lanka Cricket naming Lahiru Thirimanne as ODI captain and Dasun Shanaka as T20I captain.
The likes of Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, and Thisara Perera refused to come to Pakistan despite the country promising head of state like security to the team. But the former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf thinks even if Sri Lanka were at their full strength, it wouldn’t have mattered much to the home team.
Sri Lanka’s arrival is a good sign
Yousuf felt that the Sri Lankan team’s arrival in Pakistan will send a positive signal for other teams to come and play in the country as well. He also said that even though many Lankan players chose not to come to Pakistan, it doesn’t matter much for the Men in Green as they are prepared to take on any team.
“The Sri Lankan team’s arrival is a good sign for Pakistan cricket. It will enable cricket fans in Pakistan to watch cricket in stadiums. It is being said that Sri Lanka’s prominent players have not come. I feel that that does not matter. Their mere arrival is a good thing.
“If they had all their players, even then Pakistan would have been a lot better than Sri Lanka because their current side does not have a Muralitharan or a Sangakkara or a Jayawardene,” Yousuf was quoted as saying by Thenews.com.pk.
Misbah was not appointed on merit, Yousuf laments
Mohammad Yousuf, who scored 7530 runs in 90 Tests and 9720 runs in 288 ODIs with a total of 39 centuries, has been a vocal critic of the new coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq. He often criticized Misbah when he was leading the team during his playing days and has launched another attack on him, for usurping the head coach and selector posts.
“Because he himself wanted the job, Misbah opposed the former coaching regime the most as a member of the committee. It is why I say that his appointment was not on merit. I am appalled that how could Waqar Younis settle for the bowling coach’s role when on merit he should have been the head coach and chief selector,” he said.
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