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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pakistan facing biggest crisis, says Imran

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pakistan cricket is facing its biggest crisis and the team stand little chance of winning the 2011 World Cup without fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, former captain Imran Khan said on Thursday.
Unable to host international cricket due to the volatile security situation at home, Pakistan suffered another blow when Amir and Asif and former test captain Salman Butt were suspended by the International Cricket Council following allegations of spot-fixing in the fourth test against England this year.
Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider then left the squad in Dubai last month and fled to London, seeking asylum and saying he was being threatened by people who wanted him to co-operate in fixing matches.
"Cricket in Pakistan faces its biggest crisis and so does the country," Imran told reporters.
"Sadly, the patron of the (Pakistan Cricket) Board is the president (of the country) and the less I say of him, the better," said the cricketer-turned-politician.
"We are in a mess. We have the talent but we want to know the verdict on Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Amir.
"They are arguably the best opening pair of bowlers...I have seen both Wasim (Akram) and Amir and I can tell you Amir is ahead of what Wasim was at this age...Without those two, our bowling is not potent," added Imran, whose charismatic captaincy was crucial in securing Pakistan's only World Cup triumph in 1992.
The former all-rounder, however, has not lost all hope of a turnaround.  
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