Lahore: Former England captain Michael Atherton believes that the lack of infrastructure is the main reason Pakistan produces quality bowlers.
The renowned commentator and a broadcaster also think that in the past few years the strength and depth of Pakistan bowling have set them apart from the other cricketing nations.
“I don’t know why Pakistan particularly produces great bowlers. I suspect it has something to do with the relative lack of infrastructure. To produce lots and lots of great batsmen, you’ve got to have facilities and infrastructure and coaches and a very formal system, but I think bowlers can spring and emerge from anywhere and that’s probably why Pakistan produces so many,” he said in a podcast released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“Pakistan, of course, have produced great batsmen, but I think in recent times, the strength and depth of their bowling and particularly the kind of wicket-taking bowlers – pace bowlers and mystery spinners – have set them apart,” he added.
The 52-year-old recently visited Pakistan during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five to work on a documentary on the revival of cricket in Pakistan which was likely to be released as part of the Pakistan team’s build-up for the summer tour of England.
Atherton has a strong belief that now more players and teams will come to Pakistan after the complete installation of the PSL in Pakistan.
“Well, you only have to look around: the crowds, enthusiasm and packed houses for every game. Importantly, all these foreign players will now know that it is safe here and they will be able to take that message to the players from their own countries. I was in a cafe last night (8 March) and there were about eight to nine English players and they were all saying how much they’ve enjoyed the competition,” he maintained.
He also said that Pakistan will be a strong competitor for England this summer as they have to play three Tests and three T20Is.
“Pakistan have a very good record against England in recent years in England. They’re always a valuable team to come and they get good support from the crowds. Cricket should be good and highly competitive. We’re looking forward to seeing Pakistan in England this summer,” he added.
Atherton also revealed that he is eager to watch Pakistan’s top batsman Babar Azam to watch him play in England after all the success he had in recent times.
“Babar Azam looks a fabulous player to me. He looks so skillful and the game looks so easy to him at times. I am very much looking forward to watching him play,” he added.