Former Pakistan cricketer Mudassar Nazar believes that national teams of the past would have imploded if kept in the kind of “restrictive” quarantine that the current side is in ahead of its Test and T20 series against England next month.
Nazar, who was the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s national academy till recently, also claimed that he has been told about the side being bored and fatigued in the bio-bubble in England to combat the COVID-19 threat.
“I don’t think such an environment is ideal for cricket. From what I have heard the players in England are bored and fatigued because of the COVID-19 restrictions and environment,” he told a Pakistani news channel.
“I just wonder what would have happened if teams of the past like in the ’90s had to remain together in such COVID conditions. I guess some players would have been fighting and would be at each other’s throats by now,” Nazar said.
The former all-rounder’s comments were a dig at incidents in the past when infighting was common in Pakistan cricket along with players’ revolts.
The 64-year-old, who played 76 Tests and 122 ODIs, said the existing circumstances all over the world were difficult for professional cricketers.
“I have been told our players presently in training in England have become bored with the whole restrictions etc. It might have an effect on their performances in the coming series because it is never easy playing in England,” Nazar said.
Nazar said the biosecure environment can have a negative impact on national cricketers.
“If I had been in such a place, I would have been very bored. It is difficult to play in these situations,” he said.
He also questioned the decision to call up Muhammad Amir to join the team in England after the pacer initially pulled out due to the birth of his child.
“In the past this was a player reluctant to play in one format for his country and now that he is available he is immediately called up to the team. That is something that does not sit well with me,” he said.
Nazar, also a qualified coach, said he saw the coming Test series in England as a final frontier for batsman Babar Azam.
“In recent times he has got a great grip on his bat and he is batting really well. The way he took on Dale Stein in South Africa last year and then the Australians in their own backyard I just think that if Babar gets runs in England he will be unstoppable in future,” he said.