Pakistan favourites for T20 WC but they have repeated 2003 mistake: Nazar

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricketer Mudassar Nazar believes that the Men in Green will be one of the favourites for this year’s T20 World Cup.
While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Nazar said that the pitches in United Arab Emirates (UAE) will suit the Babar Azam-led unit.
“Even when they were losing in England, I said that they had the potential to win the T20 World Cup mainly because of the pitches in UAE. The ball stays low and the soil used in making the pitches is from Pakistan so they are similar to Pakistani pitches. As the matches progress, pitches will slow down and assist spinners and also bring change of pace and reverse swing into play,” said Nazar.
“Also, Pakistan batsmen play spin better as compared to some of the other countries so I see them as one of the strongest teams. There have been some mistakes in selection but they still have a good chance,” he added.
However, Nazar admitted that Pakistan have repeated the mistake they made before the 2003 World Cup while talking about the change in team management.
“I think they [Misbah and Waqar] shouldn’t have left in such a situation as the T20 World Cup is just around the corner. Same thing happened in 2003, when I had a disagreement with Lt Gen (retired) Tauqir Zia and he asked me to return to the academy but I, instead, resigned. The appointment of a new coach and lack of consistency affected the team greatly during the 2003 World Cup, in South Africa, as they faced heavy defeats. I hope the same doesn’t happen here but there will still be some effect on the team,” he said.
“I also decided against extending my contract with PCB as I wasn’t given the respect I deserved as a senior cricketer. When you know that you will be insulted at the end, it’s better to leave. I feel the same happened with these two [Misbah and Waqar] as well,” he added.
Nazar also opened up about the high-profile Indo-Pak clash in the mega event.
“If Pakistan beat India in the first match, the momentum it will give the side will be really helpful. On the day, especially in T20 cricket, it makes a great difference even if one player plays a top-class innings or bowls a good spell,” he said.
“India’s batting wasn’t outstanding in England. Virat Kohli hasn’t been scoring hundreds like he used to in the past two or three years. Instead, Rohit Sharma has now become the dangerman. Having said all of that their team is better than ours,” he said.
The 65-year-old also backed Ramiz Raja’s appointment as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“A lot of changes are needed in Pakistan cricket. Ehsan Mani and his team’s biggest mistake was that they didn’t want to spend money on development. Whereas, Ramiz [Raja] straightaway talked about absence of ground, pitches, infrastructure, centres, school cricket and club cricket. Listening to him made me happy as he spoke like a cricketer,” he said.
Nazar, who is currently Emirates Cricket Board (ECB)’s selector and head of National Academy programme, also spoke about working for the PCB in the future. He, recently, served as PCB’s Director Academies from 2016 till 2020.
“Whenever there is a change in PCB, my name is always part of the speculations. However, I have not been contacted by anyone so far. Also, I have a three-year contract with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) currently but let’s see what happens in the future,” he said. “My wish is that Pakistan cricket gets back on the right track and complete my unfished work. Unfortunately, the last board wasn’t interested in the work I was doing.”