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It will be difficult to find a replacement for Akhtar: Waqar

Bapun Raz

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Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has paid rich tribute
to the retired fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and said it
would be difficult to find an ideal replacement for
the enigmatic pacer, who retired after the World
Cup. "Shoaib was a big name in Pakistan cricket
and there is no doubt that he left an impact on the team. It is never easy to replace such players but I
guess every player has to sometime call it a day,"
Waqar said during an interaction with the media in
the city. Akhtar had announced his retirement after the
World Cup match against New Zealand in which he
was bludgeoned for 28 runs in one over by the
Kiwi batsmen. The tour selection committee did not play Akhtar
after that match although they were calls for him to
be included in the team for the semi-final against
India. Waqar said that the tour selection committee took
the best possible decision, keeping in mind the
requirements of the team. "No one doubts that Shoaib has given some great
service to Pakistan cricket and it will be hard to find
a replacement for him but it is also a fact that every
cricketer has to call it a day sometime in his career,"
Waqar added. The Chairman of the Pakistan cricket board Ijaz Butt
said this week that it was a shame that there was
no culture in Pakistan for senior players to retire at
the right time. "In Pakistan, we have an issue where
senior players can't decide themselves when it is
time for them to call it a day and unfortunately the board than has to take this decision," Butt had said. Shoaib since returning from the World Cup has
maintained a low profile despite reports now
emerging that majority of the players in the team
wanted the management to select him for the semi-
final against India that Pakistan lost by 29 runs. Waqar also spoke about the forthcoming tour to
the West Indies and admitted that since both teams
had announced new players in their squads it
should be a relatively easier series. "The World Cup is a benchmark for teams and
normally after a World Cup the idea is to rebuild the
team and introduce new players while giving rest
to seniors or dropping some of them. "It will be a challenge for me to oversee the
introduction of these new players into international
cricket and to guide them on how to adjust and
perform to this top level of the sport," the former
Test captain said. The Pakistan coach said that it was a good
opportunity for the new players to impress in the
coming series and cement their places in the
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