KARACHI: Known for his scathing remarks, legendary Javed Miandad has said that the recent ICC U-19 World Cup match between India and Pakistan had highlighted the huge gulf in talent between cricketers of both the countries.
Terming Virat Kohli as best in the world, Miandad, who appeared in 124 Tests in an illustrious career, rued the absence of players of the India captain’s calibre in Pakistan.
“Winning and losing is part of the game but when I watched the semi-final I could see the gap between the two teams in terms of game sense, professionalism and system,” he told PTI.
“One main reason for that is Virat Kohli. He is without a doubt the best today. He has the technique and temperament and approach to get runs anywhere. We are not producing players of his calibre for a number of reasons,” Miandad said.
Lamenting that in the past Pakistan used to produce more world class players than other countries including India, the former captain pointed out that Pakistan cricket was lagging behind because of the non-professional attitude of the Cricket Board (PCB).
“They don’t seem to understand the importance of U-19 cricket or domestic cricket. Their main focus is the PSL. But even for the PSL to become better and greater, we need to first salvage our cricket system,” he said.
He said substandard pitches and absence of any long-term plan or incentive to produce batsmen of calibre had hit Pakistan cricket hard.
“We won the Champions Trophy out of nowhere. It was a great performance and it injected life into cricket in Pakistan. But we manage to do this only because of our raw talent.
“Just imagine if that talent is groomed through a proper selection system and in a strong cricket system what we can achieve,” he said.
Miandad, who also coached the Pakistan team in three different terms, said there was no control over expenses in the PCB and there were number of employees who were doing nothing and getting heavy salaries.
“To make matters worse present cricketers, I don’t think are spending enough time individually on sharpening their skills. Fitness is very important but so is working on one’s skill level,” he said.
“Kohli has improved over the years and one can see he works hard individually on his game.”