There is no doubt that Pakistan still has some amazing talent, whether it is with ball or bat. But, you just cannot compare any of the current crop to Pakistan’s legends of yesteryear. Players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq or Saeed Anwar are not appearing these days. People accuse the system and the selection criteria of the PCB, but the PCB has always been the same. Then, what is the reason that Pakistan is not producing the classy players it used to? To me, Pakistan cricket is suffering due to the vanishing trend of tape ball cricket in the streets of Pakistan and this decline is perhaps due to the following reasons.
There used to be cricket in every street and ground in Pakistan. Kids had to reach their chose playing spot early, so that they could get the best spot to play in. But, unfortunately, the grounds and streets are empty today. You don’t need to rush to capture the best place in the ground or street. One of the reasons behind it is the excessive use of technology. Gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation have resulted in kids opting to sit in their air conditioned rooms and play video games. Also, the use of social media sites and smartphones has taken kids away from physical sports.
The Increased Pressure of Studies
As the pressure of keeping a respectable academic career is increasing around the globe, it is no different in Pakistan. However, the difference between the rest of the world Pakistan is that there is almost no cricket in Pakistani schools or at college level. The majority students are pressured to achieve good grades by the schools and their parents/guardians; in order to make their parents and teachers proud they have to forego such activities as cricket. The world is getting more competitive day by day, but parents and teachers should encourage kids to play physical sports like cricket as it is good for their health too.
Law and Order
The whole world is well aware of the poor law and order situation in Pakistan. Where terrorism has taken the peace away, it also has snatched at the glory of Pakistan cricket. The absence of international cricket from Pakistan has harmed the game at grass roots level. It has somewhat somehow lessened the passion for cricket in Pakistan, with youngsters not being able to see the game at the highest level first hand. Other than that, incidents of gunfire and bomb blasts here and there have isolated the youth from the streets. The trend of night matches in the street has declined.
The solution for making Pakistan is the revival of street cricket. Pakistan has always produced raw talent. The day Pakistani youths hit the streets and the playgrounds with bat and ball hand will be the day a new era of Pakistan cricket commences.
By Arslan Sheikh