KARACHI: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar says instead of running after the BCCI for normalising cricket ties, the Pakistan Cricket Board should focus on converting the national team into a world class side.
The Indian government has rejected visa applications of the players of Pakistani side Faisalabad Wolves, which was to play in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
“I am not surprised that the Indians have not issued visas to the Faisalabad Wolves team for the Champions League. The fact is that until and unless we have normal and friendly relations at the government to government level why do we expect the Indian cricket board to be supportive.
“I have always said that we don’t need to run after India all the time and we need to stop begging on different issues whether it is resumption of bilateral cricket ties, allowing our players for the IPL or our team for the Champions League,” Akhtar said.
The outspoken fast bowler said that BCCI simply followed the policy of its government when it came to Pakistan.
“We should have never expected them to issue visas for the Faisalabad team. When they first invited us we should have taken a bold stance and said ‘thank you’. When will we as a nation or board show some self respect and pride in our stance towards India,” he told a TV channel.
Akhtar said it was time that PCB starts making efforts to develop the national side into a strong team.
“(what we will lose?) A few hundred thousand dollars. But it is time we stop going after India all the time. We need to start setting our house in order and strengthening our own domestic cricket and infrastructure.
“We need to concentrate on building up our cricket structure and building up a world class side. When we have a world class side everyone will not only want to play against us but on our terms as well,” he said.