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Jun 10, 2010 at 02:05pm IST

Controversies damaging Pakistan: Waqar

Lahore: Waqar Younis feels the public bickering among players and officials in the past few months has done more damage to Pakistan cricket than all the scandals and controversies of the last 25 years put together.

"The controversies, scandals and issues we have seen in the last few months have done more damage to Pakistan cricket than anything else in the last 25 years," the national coach told reporters on Wednesday.

His remarks came after he was asked about a ban on the media from entering the Gaddafi stadium to cover the national training camp set up for the Asia Cup.

Controversies damaging Pakistan: Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis feels the public bickering among players in the past few months has done damage to Pakistan cricket.

The former captain justified the ban saying it was done to prevent controversies and scandals.

"I am not saying the media is responsible for the problems we have seen in last few months but they have done great damage to Pakistan cricket and my concern is that our players should not be involved or linked to anymore controversies," he said.

Pakistan cricket has been hit by several controversies since the start of the year when the team was touring Australia where it didn't win a single match.

In the aftermath of the turbulent tour, the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed an inquiry committee to probe the reasons for the defeats and banned four players including former captains, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf and fined three others including current captain, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal.

But the arbitrator appointed by the board, after hearing appeals of the players against their punishments, lifted the bans on former captains, Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan and also halved fines on other players.

Leaked video recordings of the inquiry committee proceedings confirmed groupings in the team and a revolt against former captain Younis Khan.

Waqar said he felt the time had come for Pakistan cricket to start inducting new players.

"We have given a chance to some youngsters in the Asia Cup and hopefully we will try out more youngsters in England.

And they will all get chances to play because we don't want a situation where they just tour and comeback without playing," he said.

The former Pakistan captain described the Asia Cup as a tough challenge and said Sri Lanka and India would be hard to beat.

"We are confident about our chances but the fact is that Sri Lanka is always a tough opponent in its own backyard while the Indians have a talented side and I don't think their recent poor form can be taken as any yardstick to predicting how they will perform in the Asia Cup.

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