ISLAMABAD - Pakistani-born Hong Kong pacer Haseeb Amjad urges the International Cricket Council (ICC) to enhance the number of matches of associate members to bridge the gap between top cricketing nations and them.

Talking to The Nation before departing to his adopted country Hong Kong, Haseeb said: “The ICC should enhance the number of international matches for associate members and must start leagues for them, as it will certainly help bridge the gap between top cricketing nations and them and also help them come at par with cricketing super powers.”

About Pakistan team in the World T20 and the reason behind defeat against India, Haseeb said: “I personally feel that the team management failed to read the pitch and playing with four seamers was a huge mistake. I feel Imad Wasim and M Nawaz should have given the chance to play against India, as they could have made huge impact. The pitch was also not suitable for such a mega event and the most eagerly awaited match, as billions of people were watching this clash of titans and were expecting high-scoring thrilling encounter.”

“I still believe Pakistan team is more than capable of bouncing back and can beat not only Kiwis, but also Australia and can qualify for the semi-finals. But for this, they need to be aware of complacency, as green caps are well-known for going relaxed after performing exceptionally in the earlier matches. Proper game planning and team selection can help Pakistan make way to the semifinals. My sincere wishes and prayers are with green caps,” Haseeb concluded.

Lamenting on not representing the country of his own birth, Haseeb, who represented Pakistan U-19 team in 2005 Afro-Asia Cup and took 10 wickets with 5-15 as best against Zimbabwe in five matches, said: “I never lost heart, despite been broken with such harsh behaviour of the PCB. I tried my luck in Grade-II and played for Navy and for Rawalpindi Region in Grade-II in 2006-2007 seasons, taking 15 wickets in only three matches, but despite showing tremendous potential, I was never given chance to Rawalpindi Region in the first class cricket.

“After waiting for almost two long and hard years to get a chance, I finally got fed up with the treatment rendered to me and decided to move to Hong Kong in 2009. Before moving to Hong Kong, former chief selector Iqbal Qasim met me and informed me that I was almost ready to represent Pakistan as I was a complete all rounder, who could also bat in the middle order. I tried to contact Iqbal Qasim on several occasions, but he never bothered to pick my call. After getting frustrated once again, I was left with no other option, but to leave Pakistan and become super hits in adopted countries. I reach Hong Kong and immediately met success as I was the most successful Hong Kong bowler in the league for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012. I picked up 54 wickets in only 20 matches in the very first year in Hong Kong,” he added.

Continuing to speak out his success story, Haseeb said: “In the very next season, I took 74 wickets in 30 matches and then in 2012, I took 97 wickets in 35 matches. I was given debut for Hong Kong in 2013 and on my debut match against Italy in ICC World T20 qualifiers in Dubai, I managed to grab 5-15 and was declared the best wicket-taker for Hong Kong and again in the ICC World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand in 2014, I was the best bowler with 20 wickets in 7 matches and again in World T20 qualifiers in 2015-16 in Ireland, I was the second best bowler of the event with 12 wickets in 6 matches. I also played in the UAE series and took 25 wickets in 5 matches, took 3-28 against Pakistan in practice match and 3-60 against England in practice match. I was second best bowler in the world in 2015 and I am the leading wicket-taker for Hong Kong with 116 wickets.”