Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi has rued at the lack of facilities in his country which he felt has hindered the improvement of the game there, saying that the national team cannot become world beaters with just one cricket academy.
Afridi, who recently courted controversy for his "more love in India than in Pakistan" comment, asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to improve the infrastructure and bring in new ideas to take the game to a higher level in his country.
"We need to change our thinking and provide facilities. With just with one cricket academy we shouldn't think that we can start beating Australia, New Zealand or England. Okay, fine, on a given day you can beat them, but overall, until your base is strong you cannot do it consistently," Afridi said.
"Look at Australia. Shane Warne, (Glenn) McGrath retired together. But they didn't have problems, because their system, their base, is strong. Look at India - why has cricket improved so much, why has (MS) Dhoni been able to bring out new players? In every ground they have academies. The board has used their cricketers well and they have taken younger guys along," he told 'Cricinfo'.
"With us, our former guys only want to work with the Pakistan team coaching (set-up). The PCB should get the top cricketers to U-14, U-16 level to share experiences with them in those academies," he added.
Afridi advised the PCB "to get rid of old-fashioned views, bring in new people, with new thinking, so that they can create something new with new kids".
Afridi praised the lucrative IPL for helping India in churning out talented cricketers.
Asked if Pakistani players not playing in IPL or Big Bash has made a difference in the overall performance of the national team, he said, "Of course. Or you raise the standard of domestic cricket to such a high level that they play. Many guys who are here (in the PSL) right now, top cricketers from Pakistan's domestic cricket, have struggled in a bigger crowd of players. They couldn't perform.”
"If you take the India (IPL) example, a new kid comes, he plays in front of such big crowds, in a dressing room with such big names, he faces no pressure in international cricket. And international cricket is all about the pressure and how to handle it."
He said the PSL can make a difference to Pakistan cricket.
"Of course it will. Not right now, but in three to four years. I am very happy with it, it was zabardast. The credit goes to the PCB for it. I would thank those overseas players who came and played with our younger kids. I would thank those franchises who took part for Pakistan cricket."