Pakistan endured a terrible time in Australia as they lost the Test series 0-3, the ODI 1-4 that has put them in serious threat to their direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup. They are currently ranked eighth. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai. Abdul Razzaq, one of Pakistan’s fittest and finest all-rounders, revealed that it will be painful for him to watch if Pakistan will have to play in the qualifying round to clinch a slot in the 2019 World Cup.

Pakistan is in danger of failing to qualify directly to the World Cup in the United Kingdom unless they record some impressive victories in the coming days.

Speaking to Gulf News during the launch of the Masters Champions League (MCL) Cricket Academy where he will be coaching youngsters, Razzaq said: “As a player who played for Pakistan it is very painful to see the present situation. Pakistan to reach such a stage of being not sure of qualifying for the World Cup is bad and if they do not get a direct qualification, the whole team will feel the pain. I only hope that in the coming days they win matches and not go through the process of having to play in the qualifying round.”

Razzaq was the utility man of the Pakistan team since his international debut in 1996. He could bat at any position and through his accurate medium pace pick timely wickets.

When asked what the present Pakistan team lacked from the days he played, Razzaq said: “They are lacking in talent. There aren’t player of the excellent calibre like in the past. To add to this the players are mentally weak. It’s no longer the real Pakistan team. If they all did play as a team surely Pakistan ranking would have been high.”

To a query whether absence of good all-rounders could be one of the reasons, Razzaq said: “In the past God had gifted Pakistan with many all-rounders. Unfortunately it is lacking today. Since we have a dearth of all-rounders they should have given the task of grooming all-rounders to players like Azhar Mahmood, Wasim Akram and myself. We would have tried to produce some good all-rounders.”

Razzaq is against blaming Pakistan team captains for the recent defeats. “No one should blame captaincy for the recent defeats. Captaincy would work only if you have a good talented team with good all-rounders and players with skills. Add to it the conditions in Australia are very hard and that’s why we could not perform well.”

Talking about the next captain after Misbah Ul Haq, Razzaq said: “It’s a matter for the Pakistan Cricket Board to decide but it is a good chance for Sarfraz Ahmad. I feel if the captaincy is given to Sarfraz he might do a good job.”

Razzaq wants to pass on the lessons he learnt as a cricketer to youngsters in the role of a coach here. “We learn a lot while playing international especially when playing alongside world class players. I want to share that experience with the youngsters,” said Razzaq, who also wants youngsters to get inspired by his fitness level at the age of 37. Interestingly, Razzaq has not yet announced his retirement and hence is still eligible for selection but is taking up coaching seriously.

“I like to do something which is beneficial for cricket. Those who want to learn the game, academies like MCL academy are essential. It is important to learn about the basics of the game and even more important is to have awareness about the game and that is what I will aim to do. Once a youngster understands the basics then he will understand cricket better.”