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Imran Khan brings up irony in Pakistan cricket team surge

1992 World Cup skipper bemoans no proper system to polish raw talent, but is surprised to see young guns emerging to impress world cricket pundits

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

World Cup- winning captain Imran Khan said the current Pakistan team have the potential to become a force in international cricket even as he lamented the country lacks system to polish raw talent.

"Our team was a super power in world cricket then. But this team has the potential to be even better than a super power," Imran, who led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup win, told reporters.

Lauding the team led by Sarfraz Ahmed for winning the ICC Champions Trophy title, Imran said he was very happy to see that Pakistan cricket was still producing laudable young talent. "The problem is that we don't have the system to polish this young and raw talent properly and professionally. Yet they keep coming through."

The victorious Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team with the ICC Champions Trophy which they clinched after beating India by 180 runs in the final at The Oval in London on Sunday. Pic/AFPThe victorious Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team with the ICC Champions Trophy which they clinched after beating India by 180 runs in the final at The Oval in London on Sunday. Pic/AFP

'Now, plan for 2019 WC'
Imran, who is now a seasoned politician, felt that the captain and the management should now build on the Champions Trophy win and start preparing for the 2019 World Cup.

The former captain said he was highly impressed with the way the team bounced back to win the trophy after the heavy loss to India in the opening match.

"It was an amazing turnaround from these boys. Congratulations to them."

Imran, however, lamented that Pakistan despite having a huge population were nowhere in other sports globally and have lost their stature in hockey and squash.

"At one time I remember our hockey team and squash players won world titles regularly and were unbeatable. Today we are struggling in both sports," he said.

India thrashed Pakistan 7-1 in the FIH World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London around the same time the cricket team outclassed the Indian team in the Champions Trophy final.

"We don't have even a single proper representation to win medals in the Olympics."

Imran also said nowhere in the world did the President or Prime Minister appoint the Chairman of the cricket Board.

System problem
"When you have such a system, then you will automatically have politics in cricket and that is our problem now. We still do well because of the immense raw talent we have at home."

Imran said that Pakistan have produced several champions in corruption, an obvious reference to his political opponents. "We have champions in corruption who are very good at taking money out of the country."

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