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We have probably lost half a generation: PCB CEO

The CEO believed that politics and cricket were the two main diets of Pakistan

Photo Courtesy: AP

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB)'s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan, in an interview with 7 Sports, claimed that the country had lost half a generation which could not witness their heroes perform locally.

PCB’s CEO believed that politics and cricket were the two main diets of Pakistan and they had been starved of cricket for a very long time.

“There are 220 million people in Pakistan, politics and cricket are the two main diets in the whole country. The country is being starved of cricket for a very long time. There is still a huge appetite for Test cricket. We have probably lost half a generation who haven’t seen their heroes play locally and wanted to imitate them and go on to play for their country. There has been a huge impact on us both financially and from a point of view of the next generation coming through,” Khan said.

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Khan pointed out the huge losses incurred by the PCB in their attempts to host cricket in other countries by giving the example of the recent series against Australia in the UAE which cost upto two million dollars.

“We recently played Australia in the UAE. We played five one day internationals it cost us close to two million dollars. And unfortunately nobody watches over there so it’s just a complete loss making exercise for us. People in Pakistan are tuned in to watch it and our players are walking out to empty stadiums and many of them have never played in front of their home crowds,” he said.

Khan claimed that the public in Pakistan was not good at being patient while stressing the need to back the players in the current side after Pakistan’s miserable series whitewash at the hands of Australia.

“I know Waqar Younis is very excited with the young crop of fast-bowlers. We have got Musa Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah. I think we have just got to be a little patient. What Pakistan isn’t really good at, particularly the public, is being patient. If we win two three games we are the best in the world, if we lose sack everybody,” Khan said. “For us it’s important that we back these guys. Pakistan teams in the past, when they were under the pump, might have fallen quickly, but these guys have fought and we have seen some good performances from the likes of Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah.”

Khan claimed that Pakistan was ready to play against India anywhere in the world but stated that the government of India  was not allowing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to participate in a series against their traditional rivals.

“I think we have had many false starts where we think we are very close to playing India again and something happens. We have got a very good relation with the BCCI but unfortunately they have to go to their government to seek permission. We are willing to play against them anywhere but unfortunately their government is not giving them permission,” he concluded.