The outgoing head of Pakistan's National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore, Mudassar Nazar has admitted that he could not achieve the goals he had set for himself for the development of the game in the strife-torn country. "I couldn't do the development work that I wanted in the last four years at the academy," he said.
"Yes we did build two high performances centres in Multan and Karachi. But I wanted to set up more such centres in other cities. Perhaps one reason for this is the financial health of the board.
"I also wanted to do more development work but I couldn't do it properly. But if I look back at my four years then I am proud to say that when I took charge there were no proper programs at the NCA."
Three of the Pakistan Cricket Board's long-serving former Test players, Mudassar, Haroon Rasheed and Agha Zahid spent their last day at the NCA on Sunday as the board ended their services in an effort to restructure and convert the academy into a High Performance Centre.
Mudassar, who has close ties his former Test captain and now Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, insisted that he had never tried to take advantage of his friendship with the country's premier during his stint at the NCA. "I have never tried to take advantage of my relationship with Imran because that is not the way I work nor will I ever do it in future," he said.
He said he is proud of the work he had done at the NCA. "I am proud of the under-13 talent hunt and development program I started as head of the NCA. It has given us some very fine talent."
He said youngsters like Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Muhammad Hasnain had benefited from the academy. "I am also proud to see other youngsters like Muhammad Musa, Rohail Nazir and Haider Ali also in line to play for Pakistan and that makes me feel proud."
Mudassar, who was a key member of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan team in the 80s, played 76 Tests and 122 ODIs for his country. The former all-rounder said it was unfair to target the NCA for its performance every time. "I was always surprised that whenever the board was criticised the NCA and its staff also came under fire. It is easy to criticise anyone sitting outside without knowing the true facts of what is happening inside," he said.