DUBAI: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar believes the Green Shirts can ‘hammer’ England in their upcoming Test series in UAE.
The 40-year-old, who was in Dubai last week to promote the Sprite Cricket Stars tournament, said Pakistan is likely to be in control of the matches which will take place from October 5 to November 30.
“England has to perform at its best,” said Akhtar. “Pakistan are going to make a spinning track and focus on reverse swing. The spinners will be a very destructive force.
“England has to survive the Pakistan spin attack, which is our strength right now, and I want them to come out here [in the UAE] and make a spinning track and hammer England.
“England may have won the Ashes, but they weren’t very consistent even though they won some of the Tests comprehensively.
“So I want the fast bowlers to come out and do the magic with the reverse swing.
The pitch isn’t going to be supportive but it’s going to swing and it’s how you do that, that’s important.
I think it will be a good series, England has a point to prove but Pakistan has something to achieve.”
In 2009 there was a terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus which was touring Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan has played most of their ‘home’ series in the UAE.
Pakistan’s home grounds ended their international cricket exile when Zimbabwe toured the nation in May this year. Akhtar is of the opinion that Pakistan could begin playing teams at home within two years.
“We saw the passion of the people who came in large numbers to watch the series,” said Akhtar while speaking of the Zimbabwe matches.
“The biggest threat was for the crowd not the players. The stadium was full, the weather was hot, and 50,000 people were standing. That’s how much it means to our nations, who are the most resilient and most passionate people.
“If we start with smaller teams when the dust settles, it [a home series against bigger opposition] will eventually happen.
We’ll start with the small teams and bring bigger teams under the watchful eye of the government and then I’m sure we’ll see bigger teams coming to Pakistan within two years.”