Shoaib Akhtar Photograph:( AFP )
Shoaib Akhtar said, "The quality of the game has deteriorated in the last 10 years. The deterioration has happened"
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that the batsmen of today's generation are "fortunate" as they haven't faced some of the legendary bowlers like Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and himself. During an interview with an India-based media house, the 45-year-old former fast bowler spoke about how the game of cricket has deteriorated over the past few years. He said that cricket has "not evolved", only the shots have "evolved". Akhtar said, "The quality of the game has deteriorated in the last 10 years. The deterioration has happened."
Speaking further, the Rawalpindi Express also pointed on the viewership and highlighted the issue of a dip in viewership. There are some instances when the viewership is high for some big matches but the trend is inconsistent. Akhtar also tried to establish the reason saying that "characters of the game have gone".
"The viewership of the game has not increased but it has come down because the characters of the game have gone. People are saying there's more viewership, but how is there more viewership? There's no viewership for Test matches. 600 million might have watched the Champions Trophy match, but that was a one-off," he said.
Akhtar on Sachin vs Virat debate
Akhtar weighed in on the highly debated topic in the cricketing world, which is, who is better — Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli? While commenting on the same, Akhtar said, "Give Sachin Tendulkar credit and stop comparing him to Virat Kohli." Shoaib Akhtar, who played against the Master Blaster on many occasions said, "He [Virat] did not play the era of Sachin Tendulkar, which is like the single era of 50 overs, and then the reverse swing starts literally after 10 overs. Face that with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and the spin of Shane Warne".