LAHORE: Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said that domestic cricket structure, and paucity of 50-over cricket have caused Pakistan’s struggle in ODI cricket.
He said that Pakistan’s domestic structure had undergone several changes in recent years and Misbah said the one-day game has been getting the short shrift. In an interview with a foreign website, the Test captain said:”While a Pakistani domestic cricketer may play at least ten to twenty first-class matches a season, he doesn’t get the same match practice in the 50-over format,” Misbah said. “I have long been saying that we need to lay greater emphasis on one-day cricket in our domestic system, and play more one-day games, because you can’t evolve by playing a maximum of five 50-over matches a year in the domestic circuit.”
It is to be mentioned here that at present Pakistan are the No. 1 Test team in the world, they languish at No. 9 in the ODI rankings.
“We have just one fifty-over tournament and the format is not even played at club level anymore,” he said. “Most of the cricket at grassroots level is 20 to 25 overs; this is one big reason that our ODI cricket has deteriorated and we are standing at No. 9. We needed and still need to develop our resources and we can only do so by increasing the number of games in our domestic tournament. The reason we are on top in Tests is because our players are getting enough games and exposure at domestic level. That is the only reason I see” he added.
He said that in Pakistan, there was a perception that the captain was the only one responsible for everything. “Cricket is a team game and every player has to contribute. We used every possible talent in the country but it didn’t work. Whenever you are forced to change, that is because team isn’t performing. Unfortunately, in one-day cricket, the boys haven’t performed well, like they have done in Test cricket. The bowling, after Saeed Ajmal, hasn’t done enough and the batting has never been consistent,” he added.