KARACHI  - Former Pakistan captain M Yousuf has slammed the Cricket Board (PCB) for playing with the careers of the national cricketers. “There are some people in the cricket system with vested interests and inflated egos and they don’t even care if their decisions hurt Pakistan cricket. I have seen many examples of this in the past,” Yousuf said. Shunned from the national team since 2010, Yousuf blasted the board hierarchy for not respecting their senior players, who have done a lot for Pakistan cricket.

“A great player like Wasim Akram did not retire, he was forced out by this system and there are so many other such examples. One reason we struggle as a cricket nation is because we don’t give respect to our senior players,” he said. One of Pakistan’s top batsman until he lost favour with the national selectors, Yousuf said the present system, unlike other countries, did not bother to make full use of the experience and investment made by its senior players.

“The other problem is the board can pay in millions to foreigners but when our players demand that much amount, the board is reluctant to pay them the same,” he said. Yousuf said the recent poor performances of the national team were not surprising to him as the selection policy lacked consistency. “Those countries, which have a proper cricket system, are progressing and have consistency in their performances. In our country, someone like Imran Khan has been calling for changes in the system but no one listens to him.

“We don’t need to do much, just ask someone like Imran to come forward, give suggestions and implement them honestly and sincerely without any ego issues involved,” he said. Yousuf said there were people in the board who didn’t know anything about how a professional cricketer’s mind works. “Yet, they are the ones running Pakistan cricket. How can we expect a consistent performance from our players when some of them are not even sure they will be in the next match.” Yousuf said his biggest regret would be despite knowing that he could still serve Pakistan cricket, he has been sidelined without any rhyme or reason.