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Pak closing in on Australia, says Procter

Lahore: Pakistan is closing in on Australia’s level of excellence with its National Cricket Academy and its talent is becoming renowned, said former South African allrounder Mike Procter on Sunday.

“I don’t think Australians are that far superior to other countries, they were the first country to start off the academy and other countries have followed the suit and are close to their level of excellence in terms of whole structure of cricket,” Procter told reporters during his visit to Pakistan’s academy.

The academy — the first set up in the country at an estimated cost of around $ 1 million — has all of the modern facilities of the Australian Cricket Academy.

It opened in June and has indoor nets with practice pitches imported from Australia, and 30 residential rooms for players to stay during training.

“Australians are superiors in terms of the administration and sponsorship, and the results are evident in their team’s performances,” said Procter, who played seven Tests for South Africa in the late 1960s and is now an ICC Match Referee.

“I think Australia is on a bit (of a) high at the moment, which is evident from their national side doing very well. Everyone is going to look at how cricketers are produced and find positive answers to these questions.”

Pakistan has been renowned for a country where superstars can emerge as early as the ages of 15 to 17, he said. (AFP)

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