Imran Khan has revealed that he has convinced Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, and Azhar Ali about the new structure before admitting that it must be allowed to grow and become strong. He also was hopeful that the system will strengthen their squad for the next World Cup to win the tournament.
Since the turn of the 1990s, there has been no bigger influencing factor in Pakistan cricket than Imran Khan, who changed the face of the sport in the country. In the 1992 World Cup, on the back of his genius captaincy, Pakistan won their first World Cup, which till date is celebrated. After that, Khan has spent several roles on the Pakistan cricketing circuit before taking over as the country’s prime minister, the apex role.
In recent years, Pakistan has won the 2017 Champions Trophy, playing the final against India before being eliminated in the group stages of the 2019 World Cup in England. However, following the dismal show in the competition, the former all-rounder decided to change the domestic system to help provide a feeder-system to the national team. In a bid to implement that, he had to convince the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, and Azhar Ali, who all are key in the Pakistani setup.
“I have convinced with great difficulty Misbah, Hafeez and Azhar (who were among the attendees) that the new cricket structure must be allowed to grow and become strong,” said Imran, the 1992 World Cup-winning captain, reported Indian Express.
“I told them that every new system had its teething problems and it takes some time but I can assure you once it is established it will ensure the raw talent we have in cricket will come through polished and groomed for international cricket,” Imran said.
Under the new system, only six provincial teams will fight for the trophy in first-class cricket across all formats with departmental teams being scrapped from the system. While this might have a few dire impacts in terms of jobs on offer, the former World Cup-winning skipper believes it will help the country in the long run. He also admitted that Pakistan’s victory has all come because of immense raw talent available in the country, not because of the feeder system.
“I am hopeful that we will be able in a position to field a very strong team for the next World Cup and do well in it thanks to this new system,” he said.
“Despite this system we won because of the immense raw talent we have. Nowhere does a player graduate straight into the national team from junior or club level cricket.”