KARACHI (Reuters) - Pakistan face a looming crisis in world cricket unless they nurture more fast bowlers at grassroots level, the country's chief selector Iqbal Qasim warned on Wednesday.
Qasim said selectors no longer had the luxury of choosing from an array of top fast bowlers as the talent pool had dried up and the country needs to quickly find a new generation of Wasim Akrams and Waqar Younises.
"The truth is we are not getting quality fast bowlers in the footsteps of greats like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis or Shoaib Akhtar. And the situation is not encouraging in domestic cricket as well," Qasim told Geo Super channel.
Pakistan were recently whitewashed by South Africa in a three-test series and their most experienced paceman, Umar Gul, grabbed just five wickets in two matches at an average of 45 each.
Pakistan had prided themselves on producing world class fast bowlers such as Imran Khan, Akram, Waqar, Shoaib and Mohammad Asif despite the absence of favourable conditions.
However, they lost two of their best bowlers, Asif and Mohammad Amir in 2011 after the duo were banned by the International Cricket Council for spot-fixing during a series in England. The pair also served jail sentences.
"When this tour is over we need to discover new talent. Bowlers that can bowl fast. The board is keen to identify raw talent in domestic cricket and have them groomed in a special bowling camp with help from Wasim and Waqar," Qasim said.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)