Pakistan players are expected to learn from coaches while playing international cricket: Mohammad Amir

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Fast bowler Mohammad Amir took a sharp dig at Pakistan cricket’s selection policy and criteria, saying that the country throws young players into international cricket with major flaws in their game.

Amir said cricketers in Pakistan are expected to learn on the job after making their international debuts rather than honing their skills in the domestic circuit before coming to the biggest stage in the sport, something which he pointed out that countries like India, England and New Zealand follow.

Notably, Amir himself burst onto the international scene as a 17-year-old in 2009 but he was one of those rare finds who took the sport by storm with his bowling skills and pace. But he courted controversy soon after his debut when he was banned for 5 years from all cricket for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England.

“Look at the players that India, England and New Zealand are bringing into international cricket. They are ready to play at the highest level as they have done the hard yards and have completed their learning in the domestic and junior systems. Once selected, they show their skills in international cricket which they have already learnt in domestic cricket.

“Whereas in Pakistan, at the moment, our players are expected to learn from the national coaches while playing international cricket, rather than having already learnt the art of cricket earlier in their careers,” Amir was quoted as saying.

“LOOK AT ISHAN, SURYA & KRUNAL”

Amir, who quit Tests in 2019 and retired from international cricket a year later at the age of 28, also gave the example of players like Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya, who made their India debuts after gaining experience in domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League.

“Look at Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya, they looked ready and primed for international cricket when they made their debuts and did not look to need much advice or coaching at all. They have played several years of domestic cricket and the IPL and that makes their introduction into international cricket much smoother.

““International cricket isn’t school cricket where you learn on the job. It’s a tough environment where only players who are ready and who have learnt about the game and obtained the necessary skills should be selected. If you want to learn about cricket, do it at the academy or in First-class cricket, don’t come to international cricket underprepared and hope to learn whilst playing for your country.

“Too often our young players are thrown into international cricket with technical flaws, with issues in their game, in the hope that they will improve. Well, it doesn’t work like that at all and the sooner we realise it, the better it will be,” Amir said.

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