Karachi: He is glad that Indo-Pak bilateral cricket is finally set for revival come December, but former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas is not particularly pleased with the short duration of the series. While welcoming the BCCI announcement that it had got clearance to host Pakistan for a short one-day series from December 25, Zaheer said he hoped for a full series.
"While it is a very good thing that finally bilateral cricket matches are being revived after nearly five years but the duration of the series has disappointed me given the importance of Indo-Pak cricket contests," he said in an interview.
"Any bilateral contest is welcome but I would have thought that after such a long break, both countries should have played a proper Test series and found a window for this in their busy schedules," he added. Zaheer said the duration of the series was too short.
"But anyway I hope that very soon the two boards will schedule a full Test series because it has been a long time since we played Tests against each other and that is the real challenge of cricket," he noted.
Another former Test captain, Hanif Mohammad also welcomed the decision by the PCB to send its team to India in December to revive bilateral ties. "It is a good decision although India has not come to Pakistan since 2006 but someone has to take the initiative and it is good we did it. Because I have always felt Indo-Pak cricket contests only further popularise the sport in the subcontinent and bring in new talent," Hanif said.
Zaheer also advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a local person as the batting coach of the national team. Zaheer's comments came despite he being a member of the coaching committee appointed by the board to scrutinise, shortlist and recommend candidates for the batting coach position.
The committee has invited interested applicants from Pakistan and outside the country to apply for the position by December 5.
"I just feel that we should have a local person as batting coach because we have produced some great batsmen in our country and one of them can easily enough do the job for the national team," Zaheer said.
The former captain, who himself scored prolifically in a illustrious career is a member of the committee that also includes former Test captain Intikhab Alam and Colonel Naushad Ali.
Zaheer, who was also on the committee when it appointed Dav Whatmore as head coach of the team in March, said the Australian needed to be given proper time to prove his credentials with the team.
"Immediately after he took charge we won the Asia Cup but I still feel he needs to be given more time to prove himself. We should not jump to conclusions about his value to the team," he added.