Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram joined the chorus in criticizing Younis Khan’s exclusion from Pakistan’s test squad for its tour of England, saying the team would badly miss his experience on the seaming, bouncy pitches there.

Despite weeks of deliberation, the national selectors ignored Younis from the 17-man Pakistan Test squad announced last week citing poor form and disciplinary issues. But Akram felt Younis was far too good a batsman to be ignored and that he would have surely fired with the bat provided he was given a chance.

“I think he (Younis) should have been in touring squad because he is a top batsman and his absence will be felt in English conditions as he has previously done well there,” he said Saturday at launch of Lahore Premier League tournament.

The bowling great was also disappointed at the absence of yet another former skipper and Pakistan’s most prolific batsman in recent times, Mohammad Yousuf. “They should have picked Yousuf and Younis in team because England is no place for experimentations especially against Australia,” Akram said.

He said the upcoming tour to England would be “a tough one for Pakistan and players would have to play with passion and spirit.”

“What is a good sign is that while the team may lack in experience it seems high on passion and commitment, which are important elements when you play against Australia.”

Akram urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to give ample time to newly-appointed captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis to build the team.

“The board should give proper time to captain and coach to deliver results because it takes time for any captain or coach to establish their culture and way of thinking in a dressing room.”

He felt Pakistan had done decently in Asia Cup in Sri Lanka despite failing to qualify for the final. “I don’t think they did badly and I don’t see any disunity or politics in team now.”

Pakistan Saturday left from Colombo for England where they play two Twenty20 matches against Australia on July 5 and 6 with first Test starting at Lord’s on July 13.

During the second part of its tour Pakistan will take on England in four tests, two Twenty20s and five one-dayers.

Dawn News