Tuesday, Oct 21, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The recently-retired Pakistan all-rounder saw no point in India preparing a pitch like that. "Either you prepare a track friendly to your bowlers, say spinners, or leave it lively,'' was Akram's opinion on the pitch that has come under the scanner after four days of listless cricket witnessed during the second Test between India and New Zealand.
Akram was speaking to newspersons after signing a deal with ESPN-Star Sports on Monday.
He joins the channel's commentary team beginning from the England-Bangladesh series, commencing at Dhaka on Tuesday.
The Pakistani speedster, who chose Vivian Richards as the best batsman he ever bowled to, wondered why such placid wickets were made in the sub-continent.
"If this is the case, young players will take to batting, not bowling,'' said the highest wicket-taker in the history of one-day cricket.
On the subject of Indo-Pak cricketing ties, Akram said, "politics is politics and cricket is cricket. Cricket should remain a game and politics should not become a part of it. People in both countries are passionate about their cricket. I think we should play against each other more often."
When asked about his opinion on the way cricket administrators conduct themselves in Pakistan, Akram said, "This has been the way the game was run even during the days of Imran Khan. Frequent changes do not help in building a team. I think the present team, with some very talented youngsters should be persisted with, at least for one year.''
On Shoaib Akhtar's outbursts against Waqar Younis and him after the World Cup in South Africa, Akram put it rather curtly. "It is time Shoaib stopped talking and let his performance speak for itself.''
On whom he would back to break Matthew Hayden's Test record of 380, Akram said, "I would love to see someone from the sub-continent break the record. It could be Dravid, Inzamam or even someone from Sri Lanka.''
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