Lahore: The absence of any international cricket in Pakistan for the last three years has started to have its effect on Pakistan cricket with the biggest losers being the budding talents at the domestic circuit. A senior cricket board official told PTI in an interview that the biggest setback for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been its inability to organise regular tours for the national under-19 and 'A' teams.
"It is a fact that in this area we have suffered a lot because such tours are only organised on reciprocal basis. The problem is with no team willing to tour Pakistan at the moment we can't organise any under-19 or 'A' team tours," the official said.
He also pointed out that financially it was just not possible to have series of the 'A' team at the neutral venues like it was being done in the case of the national team. "The under-19 and 'A' team tours are supposed to be an opportunity to give exposure to the upcoming players. In the past we discovered top talent mainly from the under-19 and A team matches," the official said.
Former Test selector, Salahuddin Ahmed agreed that in the past the under-19 and 'A' team tours had helped the selectors find talents like Shahid Afridi, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Moin Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq to name a few.
Although the board official said that the other boards were keen to have exchange of 'A' team tours with Pakistan, he said "these tours are done on reciprocal basis and while our team can go abroad no team is willing to play in Pakistan and that is a big setback for us".
Since militants attacked the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore in March 2009, killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the visiting players, no foreign Test team is willing to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.