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Former Indian Test captains (from left) Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly are seen in this file photo. Dravid and Ganguly have retired, whereas, Tendulkar is still playing Test match cricket.
DOHA: Former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed has praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for prolonging the careers of Test giants Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Tendulkar has appeared in 197 Tests for India, whereas, Dravid played in 164 Tests before retiring.
Laxman played 134 Tests while Ganguly won 113 caps for India.
When asked if he was surprised to see Tendulkar still playing after 23 years as Test cricketer, Ijaz said: “I am not surprised. I appreciate the policy of the BCCI in the handling of batsmen of the national side. It is so difficult to groom a batsman for Test cricket. So when you get a player, it is essential that you take care of the batsmen you have.”
Ijaz, 44, added: “You should take them along. There’s no substitute for experience. Look at Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Tendulkar, India has taken care of these players. They were given plenty of opportunities.”
The former Pakistan batsman said: “Then these seniors transfer their knowledge and experience to youngsters. So that’s what India has done really well. Other cricket boards also should think on the same lines.”
Ijaz said he looks back at the 1992 World Cup with fondness but insisted that Pakistan Cricket Board should utilizes the services of the former greats of the early 90s.
“Yes, the members of that squad look back at the 1992 World Cup with a great deal of fondness,” Ijaz said
“I feel the players who were team-mates of Imran Khan’s, their services should be utilised by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The approach of those players was vastly different to the approach of the modern day players.”
Ijaz, who is the coach at the Pakistan Cricket Academy in Lahore, said: “We have 11 academies under the PCB banner. So we have players ranging from Under-16 to Under-19 and above. We work on these players. In the last three years, we have given Pakistan national team Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Raza Hassan and Ahmed Shehzad.”
He added: “These players have come through our academies and made it to the top. We have managed them in junior cricket, we have been with them on A tours. I am confident that we will get more players for the national team through this set up. The development of cricket should not be tempered with.”