dailypeghamFormer Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood believes left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir was country’s best bowler five years ago and he still has the same status as other bowlers haven’t worked hard enough to earn that position.

“Amir was Pakistan’s best bowler five years ago,” wrote Azhar. “He still is Pakistan’s best bowler because he is dedicated and hardworking. He has played no cricket for five years but is still our best bowler. His wrist position is so good and he wants to prove a point. This commitment is missing from some of the other bowlers.”

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Mahmood criticised other bowlers for not learning with time. “What have the other bowlers been doing for the past five years?” questioned Mahmood. “If they are not willing to learn or change things, then coaches cannot go out there and bowl for the team; it is down to the players. I can pass on my experience and tell them what to do but it’s down to the bowlers to execute the plans. Our plans included yorkers and slower balls, but the bowlers failed to execute these plans.”

He added: “I worked with Anwar Ali recently regarding his wrist position and his back leg not being stable but at the end of the day the bowlers need to do on the pitch what the coaches have told them. At the end of the day a coach can only help and give advice.”

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Mahmood also suggested to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that it needs to create a positive environment to set the mind-set of players.

“I made some points to the PCB in a report I submitted to them,” wrote Azhar. “One of the points I addressed was that the PCB needs to hire a sports psychologist to get the players mind-set right and get their thinking to be a lot more positive. There’s too much negativity in the Pakistan dressing room and that needs to be eradicated.”

He further wrote: “There needs to be more self-belief amongst our cricketers and that is missing at the moment. The players need to believe more in themselves and believe that they can win from any situation, which is lacking these days.”

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Azhar said Pakistani players needed to take practice more seriously and put in more effort during training.

“My other main recommendation to the Board was for the players’ work ethic to be improved and for players to take practice a lot more seriously and also to practice a lot harder instead of going through the motions,” wrote Azhar. “There needs to be more dedication and hard work from the current crop of Pakistani cricketers.”

In another suggestion, he recommended hiring proper coaches for domestic team to improve the standards at grass-roots level.

‘Another point I have made to the PCB is to hire better quality of domestic coaches,” he said. “We need people who can improve the game awareness of our cricketers at domestic level and also improve our cricketers’ fitness and make them more aware of nutrition.”