Hard to find a replacement for Shoaib Akhtar; says Waqar

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has paid rich tribute to the recently retired fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, saying that it would be hard to find an ideal replacement for the enigmatic pacer.

Shoaib had announced his decision to retire from international cricket at the end of 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,” said Waqar during a media interaction in Karachi.

“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.

Speaking about the forthcoming West Indies tour, Waqar said that it should be a relatively easier series since both teams had announced new players in their squads.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

The Pakistan coach also said that it was a good opportunity for the uncapped players to impress in the Pakistan-West Indies series and cement their places in the national team.