ISLAMABAD – “We were quite fortunate that we had played in the golden era of cricket as at that time great players like Imran Khan, Ian Bottam, Richard Hadlee, Viv Richard, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Malcom Marshall and many more were applying their trade and there was a tough competition at that time.” Legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir expressed these views in an exclusive interview with TheNation on Sunday.
Qadir said that despite playing against so many great players, they always tried to intact their wicket and never threw away wickets cheaply. Qadir, a veteran of more than 70 Tests and over 100 ODIs with 240 plus wickets in Tests and over 110 wickets in ODIs, said: “There is no compression between our days and current players. During our playing days, a great player and skipper like Imran Khan was getting Rs 7000 for playing a Test but now-a-days Younus Khan is earning Rs8 million from Tests. During our time we played for the pride of the country, despite getting minimum money country always stood first for us. It is quite unbelievable that current players cry they are not paid much. The players are now earning in millions and they could earn more and more through legal ways like playing in county cricket, IPL, BPL or appearing in ads and they are still being paid hefty amounts by their respective boards so it makes no sense when they cry they were under paid.”
“These days’ boys are very lucky, as they have to play against ordinary players; bowlers are especially very lucky as there are no great hitters of our days. There are good opportunities for players, they have been provided excellent platform and if they perform well they could easily achieve the to., I must suggest every player must take an oath that he would only play for country and not for the money, just like we did in our playing days and at that time there was no greed for money and country always comes first.”
“I must give credit to PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf, who in a very short span of time, had introduced revolutionary steps and this is sheer love and passion for cricket that he immediately started to work on domestic structure. Intikhab Alam, Sarfraz Nawaz, Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad would certainly produce results and emphasizing on club cricket would benefit the national team a lot, as in a short span of time the country would get a cream of players in almost every department.
“I had tabled this idea to then PCB Chairman Zahid Ali Akbar and asked him to hire the services of Miandad, Imran and myself in producing bowlers and batsmen by organizing a camp at Qaddafi Stadium, he welcomed my idea and termed it a grate one for the future of Pakistan cricket but meeting twice with him no progress was made.”