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Ashes series nothing compared to Pakistan-India games - Wasim Akram

Last Updated: 15/07/13 8:05am

The rivalry in an Ashes series doesn't even come close to matches between Pakistan and India, Wasim Akram told Cricket AM.

The Pakistan bowling legend is in the UK for the first Test between England and Australia and is a long-term fan of the intensity and competitiveness of the matches.

"The bowling is phenomenal. Mohammad Irfan, the 7-foot paceman, is a real star. But they are really struggling with their batting"

Wasim Akram

Many cricket fans regard the Ashes as the pinnacle in the cricketing arena, but Akram said: "The Pakistan and India games are similar but if a Pakistan team lost, you might not even get home!

"If Australia and England lose a match then they probably say 'never mind, better luck next time'. In 1996 we played a World Cup quarter-final in Bangalore against India and lost.

"India played well that day I have to say but as captain I got told by the cricketing board not to come back. So the whole team and I did not go back to Lahore!"

The 47-year-old, who snared nearly 1,000 wickets in Test and ODI games, revealed that Pakistan legend Imran Khan was his idol growing up and then enjoyed playing under him in the national team.

"I used to have pictures of Imran on my bedroom wall and then to be playing with him in the Pakistan team was just amazing. He was my main inspiration," Akram added.

"He is still a mentor to me. In fact, he is a mentor to most people in Pakistan nowadays."

Akram strongly criticised the Pakistan set-up last month following the team's miserable showing in the Champions Trophy.

After they lost all three of their fixtures in the short-format event in England, Akram, who played in 104 Tests between 1985 and 2002, said drastic changes were needed.

When asked about his current thoughts on the team, the all-rounder said on Cricket AM: "The bowling is phenomenal. Mohammad Irfan, the 7-foot paceman, is a real star. But they are really struggling with their batting. They do need to play more Test cricket though and in Pakistan."