ISLAMABAD - Former captain Rashid Latif has said that Pakistan cricket will continue to suffer unless competent and professional people aren’t involved in Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

In an interview with The Nation, Latif said: “The graph of Pakistan Super League has been declining fast due to certain reasons. Firstly, only head of PSL Najam Sethi has been changed and replaced by Ehsan Mani. It means same old people are running the show, who don’t know much about cricket and inside outs, which are key for making a league successful.

“Secondly, I strongly believe that those people must be involved, who have spent their lives in cricket and know how to carry forward the things. It is almost impossible to prepare pitches in less than two hours every day. Pitches require substantial amount of water and proper look after. Had cricketing brains involved in the PSL, the things would have been far better,” he added.

He said people come to watch exciting cricket, they love sixers, boundaries and fun. “Everywhere in the world, pitches are prepared to benefit the batsmen, but here in PSL, bowlers are being given huge favours, and it is making the PSL matches dull and boring.”

“T20 cricket means people must be given real run for their money. In the PSL, a bowler bowls four good overs and gets direct ticket to national team, which, I feel, is completely wrong. The teams, who have spent millions of rupees on their players, have been suffering shock loses and being criticized by the masses, just because the pitches are not of that quality. The PCB needs to look into these things and should provide relief to those, who are spending huge money,” he added.

Latif said the PSL was a mega success in the very first year and it kept on growing with every year but now PSL-4 is not living up to expectations and yet to gain pace. “The timing of the league is always very important. The mega stars’ presence holds the key in making any league successful. Currently, all the major cricket-playing nations are involved in playing cricket for their national teams.

“Australia, West Indies, England, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ireland are busy in international duties. How star players will be available for PSL, when the PCB will not consider right time for the league. The PSL-4 so far got off to a very poor start and it is too early to say whether PSL will pick momentum or not, but so far, the areas, which need urgent attention, aren’t being addressed,” he added.

He said that the PCB top brass has to come up with positive approach in the next few matches. They have to ensure batting pitches for the remaining matches to make the league very enthralling and entertaining. “Top batsmen are struggling to make impact not because they are not playing international cricket for quite some time, because these slow pitches, where the ball is not coming on the bat, the charm of short format is not visible.”

About Pakistan-India ties, Latif said: “I think both Pakistan and India should try to play against each other as much as possible to bridge the gap and bring people of both countries closer. I think after elections in India, the things will be back to normal. If the world cup wouldn’t have Pak-India clash, it will be dull and boring.”