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Cool runnings on West Indies cricket world cup exit; not so for Pakistan

by | Mar 23, 2015

ICC-Cricket-World-Cup-2015West Indies reaction to their team’s thrashing by New Zealand and their exit from Cricket’s World Cup in quarter-final action on Saturday was largely verbal and condemnatory but in Pakistan the response was more expressive.

Pakistan fans smashed their televisions in anger in Multan after the national team was ousted from the quarter-finals by Australia.

Local TV channels showed a handful of people taking their TVs outside and breaking them on the streets after the six-wicket loss in Adelaide, Australia.

Pakistan won the toss and batted poorly in being dismissed for 213. Australia, thanks to two dropped catches by Pakistan, overhauled that total with more than 16 overs to spare.

“It was a good batting wicket, and Pakistan should have scored 270, but our immature batting line-up doesn’t have the capacity to even bat out a full 50 overs,” former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar told Geo TV.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and former skipper Shahid Afridi, retired from one-day internationals after the loss.

Misbah, who made his ODI debut in 2002, took over the captaincy after the last World Cup, where Afridi led the team to the semi-finals. Misbah was the leading Pakistan run-scorer at the World Cup with 350, seventh best of all comers.

Afridi played his first ODI in 1996 at 16, and will carry on as the Twenty20 captain. Just as Misbah will continue as the Test captain.

But their ODI achievements will be acknowledged by the Pakistan Cricket Board when they return home.

“I take this opportunity to convey my personal appreciation for their immense contribution to Pakistan cricket. We shall honour them on their return to Pakistan,” Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement.

The reactions from former players to Pakistan’s defeat was a mixed one nevertheless with some of them blaming captain Misbah-ul-Haq, head coach Waqar Younis and the Pakistan Cricket Board for their failed campaign.
“It is a pity that Misbah even after remaining captain for five years couldn’t decide upon his squad properly for the World Cup. This is what let us down,” former captain and batsman, Muhammad Yousuf said.

“One would have thought that for such an important event Misbah and the selectors would have been clear about the players they wanted. But on the contrary we had two players going for the World Cup Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan who were not even named in the original 30 member preliminary squad,” he said.

Yousuf called for a clean start in the aftermath of the World Cup and said the government should also look seriously at cricket affairs and bring about widespread changes in the board.

He said clearly some of the Pakistani batsmen had big technical faults which they needed to work out as they were exposed in the mega-event.

Former test captain Aamir Sohail had no doubt that Pakistan was good enough only to reach the quarter finals and not go beyond that.

“Let us be honest this team was capable of only reaching the quarter finals and this defeat is not a surprise.

“The batting let us down even though we won the toss. Some of the shot selection was atrocious and there was no game plan from our batters,” Sohail said.

The former test opener, who has also remained chief selector, felt that the board should now start building a new team and appoint wicketkeeper-batsman, Sarfraz Ahmed as the new captain for ODIs.

Former test captain, Rashid Latif said some of the decisions taken by the management cost the team.

“The management made crucial mistakes and that coupled with injuries to key players really hit us hard,” Latif said.

He said the management had wasted Sarfraz and senior batsman Younis Khan in the tournament and not used them properly.

“Some of the selection decisions were strange to me.

Definitely when the team returns home the board needs to sit down and plan well for the future,” Latif said.

Latif also made it clear that it was wrong to blame the Pakistan cricket system for the defeat.

“Don’t blame the system blame the individuals who take these wrong decisions.”

Former test pacer, Sikander Bakht ranted that after the World Cup Misbah and Shahid Afridi should both take retirement from all forms of the game.

“I would say thank you very much to both of them as it is time to now build for the future with young players.”

Former test spinner, Abdul Qadir said that two things hurt the World Cup campaign. “The selection of the team was not fair and secondly during the tournament the playing elevens were also not selected on merit and sensibly and it hurt the team.”

Pakistan’s champion spinner, Saeed Ajmal who missed out on the World Cup due to an illegal bowling action blamed the batsmen for the defeat.

“The batsmen let us down badly and the shot selection by some of them was horrific. I don’t know what Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood did and even Afridi should have hung on for a while,” he said.

He said in the end the Australians handled the pressure better.

Former test pacer, Sarfraz Nawaz claimed that the board was to blame for the defeat as the management had requested them to send Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal on PCB expenses to Australia.

“The team management wanted these two players to remain in Australia with the team and train with them so that one of them could replace Muhammad Irfan immediately but the PCB refused to send the players.

“When the board can squander money on useless projects why did they object to something which was good for the team.”

Sarfraz also called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to sack the board officials and appoint new people.  

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