ISLAMABAD , APRIL 29 : Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has asked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hold a long-duration club level tournament on regular basis providing a platform for youngsters to exhibit their talent.
“Club cricket is the jugular vein of our cricket. The development [of a formidable team] which you find at the top-tier level is actually the result of club level cricket. Similarly, the lack of development at the top-tier level is also the result of [a poor] club level cricket,” Ramiz said.
He recalled that during his playing days Summer Wazir Ali League used to take place on a regular basis wherein all clubs would play against each other for almost three months.
“The standard of that league was very good. The youngsters used to get matches to play and their passion for the game used to develop a lot,” the 58-year-old Ramiz, who scored 2833 runs in 57 Tests and 5841 runs in 198 ODIs.
“I think the board will have to look into it and hold a long-duration club level tournament. You [may] start it from Lahore by engaging all the clubs.
“The step will also help [the board] see where the cricket is being played, what is the state of pitches, and in what conditions the kids are playing,” the cricketer-turned-commentator said.
Ramiz said he had always been emphasizing that the PCB should provide quality balls, bats and kits to those clubs, who were doing well. He said there was a need to encourage young players and enable them to make a way to the domestic or national teams.
According to Ramiz, his son was also playing for a club in Model Town Lahore and he kept on complaining that it was difficult to bowl even while wearing spikes as the pitches were brittle and broken quickly. “You will not learn to bat or bowl unless you play on good pitches,” he underlined.
Ramiz also asked the aspiring players not to quit the club level cricket activity. “This is a very healthy activity. Please continue it. Winning or losing [at any level] is part of the game and you need to go through from this experiment,” he remarked.